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Diseases and Human Evolution / Edition 1

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Overview

Recent interest in new diseases, such as HIV/AIDS and Ebola, and the resurgence of older diseases like tuberculosis has fostered questions about the history of human infectious diseases. How did they evolve? Where did they originate? What natural factors have stalled the progression of diseases or made them possible? How does a microorganism become a pathogen? How have infectious diseases changed through time? What can we do to control their occurrence? Writing in a clear, lively style, Barnes offers general overviews of every variety of disease and their carriers, from insects and worms through rodent vectors to household pets and farm animals. She devotes whole chapters to major infectious diseases such as leprosy, syphilis, smallpox, mad cow disease, West Nile virus, and Lyme disease.

About the Author:
Ethne Barnes was a paleopathologist at Wichita State University

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Elyse A. Barnett, PhD (Foothill College)
Description: Ethne Barnes reviews major research in medical anthropology, effectively condensing hundreds of pages of documents that have been published in refereed journals in the past 30 years since the first PhD program. The reader is left to interpret controversies which remain in the field and which may never be fully resolved.
Purpose: In her preface, the author explains that the purpose of her book is to look at patterns of human behaviors through cultural evolution and the impact upon development of human disease. She believes that if educated persons in many disciplines understand the complex interactions between microbes and human culture, we will be able to prevent the major pandemics that have wiped out populations in history. When she introduces the reader to diseases that have made headlines in the past year, she appears to demonstrate the near impossibility of her objective.
Audience: The author states that she has taken great efforts to explain complex and detailed information in simple terms so that students can comprehend. Any professional involved with the care or study of disease and human behaviors will benefit from the breadth of materials presented, but medical anthropologists stands to gain the most from the constant reminders that despite the plethora of research, many of the original questions are still unanswered, while many new questions about disease and human behavior are unearthed every year. The author, a paleopathologist, has the expertise to introduce readers to a wide range of related issues.
Features: The author has the gift of lucid prose and the ability to condense complex material into simple, straightforward text. The paleopathologist writes, consistent with her background, in a manner that will be familiar to all healthcare professionals. In each chapter, the data and observations are summarized, followed by alternative explanations for contradictory findings. Although there is not a single chart, diagram, or picture in this 400+ page book, the description of the prose as lively in an accompanying press release is so true that the reader is motivated to read from cover to cover without interruption. However, the lack of charts, diagrams, and pictures might make it difficult to use this publication as a reference.
Assessment: For undergraduates studying medical anthropology or public health, this book will not replace the professor, but for healthcare professionals including nurses, physicians, and medical social workers, the book provides a fairly complete understanding of the subspecialty of medical anthropology which examines the interplay of human culture and the evolution of disease.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826330666
  • Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
  • Publication date: 1/25/2007
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 496
  • Sales rank: 718,209
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Ethne Barnes is research consultant in physical anthropology/paleopathology with the Corinth excavations of the American School of Classical Studies, Athens, Greece. She serves in the same capacity for the INAH La Playa burial excavations in Northwest Mexico.

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Introduction 1
Ch. 2 The war between microbes and men 9
Ch. 3 Early humans and their diseases 27
Ch. 4 The seeds of change 45
Ch. 5 Mosquitoes, malaria, and gene wars 67
Ch. 6 Invitation to a minute worm : the schistosomes 99
Ch. 7 Braving new worlds : invisible enemies of settlers 115
Ch. 8 Domesticated animals and disease 137
Ch. 9 Cows, mycobacteria, and tuberculosis 157
Ch. 10 The moral disease : leprosy 173
Ch. 11 The coming of civilization 185
Ch. 12 Syphilis : the great change artist 201
Ch. 13 Memories of small pox 221
Ch. 14 Pestilence, plague, and rats 237
Ch. 15 Of lice and men : plus ticks, mites, and chiggers 251
Ch. 16 Marching to a new world order : European expansion and the Industrial Revolution 169
Ch. 17 Easy route to fame and gripe : cholera, the salmonella gang, and other prominent gut bugs 279
Ch. 18 Transoceanic hitchhikers : yellow fever and its dengue cousin 299
Ch. 19 Food for thought : the mystery diseases 313
Ch. 20 The globalization of influenza 337
Ch. 21 Diseases of modern civilization 355
Ch. 22 The new viral wars and sleeping dragons 387
Ch. 23 Back to the future 413
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