Customer Reviews for

Survival of the Sickest: The Surprising Connections between Disease and Longevity

Average Rating 4.5
( 51 )
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5 Star

(33)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 51 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2011

    Fun read for teenagers too!

    I was forced to read this book by my AP Biology teacher, but I'm glad she did! Moalem has a funny, sarcastic tone and a diction that is unlike a science journal, which has the boring fancy writing. This book gets straight to the point about diseases and genetics. And I actually want to read it again, as do other people in my class!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    one of my favorites!

    This book is without a doubt amazing. It brings science into our everyday world and more importantly it makes science easy to understand. With every scientific explanation goes an interesting example in our lives today. One that I found incredible was our evolutionary need for diabetes. The author goes into the science of it and how our ancestors lived in an ice age and how to help keep their tissues and organs from freezing they developed diabetes. The sugar in our blood helps prevent our cells from freezing. Pay attention this is my favorite part! After explaining this, much better might I add, the author talks about the whole idea of sugar preventing freezing can be seen in our everyday slurpees that you get at a gas station! If you removed the sugar from a slurpee you would just have a block of ice! AMAZING!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 25, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    a bit scientific....

    Survival of the Sickest is an interesting and thought provoking book about disease. The author takes a handful of diseases, for example diabetes and favism, and looks at them from an evolutionary perspective. She shows how some of the diseases we have today might have actually been a good thing for our ancestors. "Evolution likes genetic traits that help us survive and reproduce-it doesn't like traits that weaken us or threaten our health (especially when they threaten it before we can reproduce)." If diabetes helped our ancestors survive the last ice age, those genes would have been passed on in reproduction. Dr. Moalem definitely makes sense in Survival of the Sickest. It gets a bit scientific in parts though and a little hard to digest. After reading this book I won't look at hereditary disease in quite the same way.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2008

    Fascinating work

    As a genealogist, and an armchair geneticist, this was a fascinating read. It's data was entertaining and easily accessible. A rare find.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 11, 2011

    Amazing!

    Wow, what a wonderful book. It makes you rethink every genetic trait and disease that ever plagued the human race in recent memory, in an evolutionary context. I read this for my Advanced Biology class and it still stands out as one of my all-time favorites.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 18, 2011

    Great Book; Especially if you have Hemochromatosis

    I loaned my copy to a friend and as usually, you don't often get loaned copies back. I now have a Nook and am thinking of buying this book again as a Nookbook. One great thing about this book is its index. As a person with Hemochromatosis, the book is greatly appreciated. But even if you don't have this genetic disorder, it is still worth reading since it talks about such things as Vitamin D and its relation to cholesterol and brown fat which helps Eskimos keep warm in a frozen climate. Then there are chapters that deal with reptiles that have different tails if certain predators such as snakes are in the vicinity. Again, a great book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2013

    G Interesting and factual

    It was hard to put this book down, it covers topics of diabetes, malaria, and more. It includes why diseases are still in the gene pool and how they can be helpful for our survival.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 17, 2011

    As a biology teacher, this book gave me more insight into genetic disorders and adds to your arsenal of responses for the never ending "why's?" It even answered many of my own.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2010

    This Book is very interesting!

    It is facinating to find out how some of the health problems that plague us today may have evolved within us. She explains where high blood pressure came from, why some people are lighter then others, etc. If you interested in the evolution of genetic diseases then this is the perfact book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 25, 2009

    Excellent book, well written

    I have a limited background in science, but this book was very clear and easy to understand. I particularly enjoyed his discussion of epigenetics. I recommend this book for just about anyone, no matter what field they are in. I give it five stars, its an excellent book. I also plan to read Dr. Moalem's next book that is coming out soon.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 18, 2011

    Survival of the Sickest

    File is curropted and cannot be read in any eReader. My Nook for PC can't read it either.

    Please check the file and re-post it for downloading. Tahnks.

    Leanne

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2010

    fantastic!

    interesting, educational and easy to digest without being verbose.

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  • Posted January 11, 2010

    Eye Opening

    When ever I go to my doctor I think that being sick is bad or haveing an illness is bad. This book made me think differently. This book made me realize that some illnesses are helpfull to survival at certain times.

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  • Posted June 18, 2009

    jr82

    Great read

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2009

    Survival of the Sickest

    Dr Sharon Moalem has some very interesting ideas! She has taken things that are well known, looked at them from a different angle and come up with some new twists. I found them to be compelling and logical. More things are related than people realize.

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  • Posted February 23, 2009

    eye opener

    I was astounded by this book and the revelations it contains. I am in the health profession and I never realized the genetic changes that occured thousand of years ago that "caused" conditions we consider diseases now. For example, Diabetes occured to help the people of the time to survive the cold. Too bad I won't be around in another thousand years to see if the diabetes genetic change changes again.

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  • Posted February 16, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Evolution has left us pluses and minuses in our health; here's a convoluted tour

    Why do many of us humans have debilitating genetic diseases, including sickle cell anemia, excess blood iron (hemochromatosis), and a susceptibility to paralysis from eating common fava beans? Author Moalem, a physiologist and soon-to-be physican, recounts the protective role that these conditions have afforded against other hazards, such as hemochromatosis helping against bloodborne bacterial infections. The stories are complex, and he tells them in even more complex fashion, with many digressions. This can be maddening at times, but the topics introduced along the way have some interest in themselves. <BR/> Each genetic disease - or disease susceptibility, in some cases - is introduced with a story of an individual, to add personal interest. By the way, my first sentence is misleading. He does not discuss sickle cell anemia, for which the full condition is lethal, while the heterozygous condition protects against malaria (that's the case when only one of our two genes coding for hemoglobin has the variant form). Moalem goes into some deep and interesting genetics. The most novel part of the book for most readers is probably the story of DNA methylation. This is the modification of our DNA post-facto to make some of it less readable than the rest. It acts as a second level of genetics and is linked to trends in obesity, brain development, and hypertension...and it's something that we can affect ourselves, for better or worse. <BR/> Moalem's chapter, "That's Life: Why You and Your iPod Must Die," synthesizes facts that have been known for some years, while being an eye-opener for most people. A bit of larger context is missing, which other writers have termed something like "death is the price of sex." Sexually-reproducing organisms, like humans and unlike, say, bacteria, have lots of built-in protections against changes in environmental conditions, from having two copies of each gene (a bit more complex, but it's a good summary). We avoid the accumulation of bad mutations, and we can grow into complex organisms with diverse capabilities...but we can't reproduce by fission as do bacteria. We have to mate and die. Would you want to last that much longer, anyway? Moalem details why we do "run down" and wear out, to the cellular level. The story is incomplete, at least, from my perspective, in that it doesn't cover non-genetic damage (e.g., progressive loss of our ability to handle oxygen safely in our cellular metabolism) as contributory to the finitude of our lifespan. Moalem does cover the "nicety" that a limit on reproduction by our individual cells is a potent, if incomplete, protection against cancer. <BR/> Overall, the book is a good read, a page turner. It may lead you to a healthier lifestyle, and certainly to several hours of high-level amusement.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 1, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Who knew diseases could be so beneficial?!

    Your disease could save your life! This book is easy to read and very informative. Survival of the Sickest describes how evolution has favored certain diseases in order to ensure survival of the species.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2007

    Eye Opener

    This book is a treasure for amateur readers of biology/medicine books like me. It is easy to understand but not condescending. It opened my eyes for different perspectives regarding evolution of living things and the relationship between human and other elemnts of nature. I am recommending this book to everyone I know. I hope the author will write more books to share his profound knowledge with us soon.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2007

    Incredible

    Amazing!!! Moalem reveals the incredibly interconnected things about health and the way we live that I never thought about, and you never hear about these realities from doctors. He does it in a fascinating and entertaining way. I think its a must read for anyone the least bit intrigued about health and the way we evovled as humans.

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 51 Customer Reviews
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