Evolution in Health and Disease 1st Edition. by Stephen C. Stearns (Editor)
This book establishes evolutionary biology as an essential basic science for medicine.
Have you ever wondered how the disparity between the life experiences of our ancestors and ourselves might affect our health? For the majority of our evolutionary history, humans lived in small hunter-gatherer groups whose diet, lifestyle, living conditions, and environmental pressures were very different to the experiences of most humans today. The adaptations making us uniquely human - height, brain size, body proportions, metabolic rate, day range - were established during the Pleistocene - some 200 times as long as our recent evolutionary history - and may not fit us as well at the end of the 20th Century. This fascinating book explores and analyses the ways in which our ancient genes contend with, and influence, human life in the space age. It offers the first broad, in-depth coverage of the many points of contact between evolutionary biology and medical science. Evolutionary biology is not a standard part of medical education, but it offers many important insights into central problems of human health and disease. These include the evolution of antibiotic resistance, the evolution of pathogen virulence, the evolution of aging, the design of vaccines, and population- and genotype-specific reactions to drugs and susceptibility to disease. They also include new insights into mother-offspring conflict during pregnancy, menstruation, menopause, child abuse, homicide, depression, schizophrenia, and many chronic degenerative diseases, such as cancer and osteoporosis. This book, written by a team of world experts in evolutionary medicine, describes the state of the art and provides easy, clear access to the primary literature. Addressed to medical students, medical researchers, and evolutionary biologists, it provides compelling arguments for why the tools of evolutionary biology - both its ideas and its methods - belong in every doctor's tool-k
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