Evolution and Medicine

Overview


Evolution and Medicine provides an accessible introduction to the new field of evolutionary medicine. Evolutionary concepts help explain why we remain vulnerable to disease, how pathogens and cancer cells evolve, and how the diseases that affected our evolutionary ancestors have shaped our biology. Evolution and Medicine interweaves the presentation of evolutionary principles with examples that illustrate how an evolutionary perspective enhances our understanding of disease. The book discusses the theory of ...
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Evolution and Medicine

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Overview


Evolution and Medicine provides an accessible introduction to the new field of evolutionary medicine. Evolutionary concepts help explain why we remain vulnerable to disease, how pathogens and cancer cells evolve, and how the diseases that affected our evolutionary ancestors have shaped our biology. Evolution and Medicine interweaves the presentation of evolutionary principles with examples that illustrate how an evolutionary perspective enhances our understanding of disease. The book discusses the theory of evolution by natural selection, the genetic basis of evolutionary change, evolutionary life history theory, and host-pathogen coevolution, and uses these concepts to provide new insights into diseases such as cystic fibrosis, cancer, sexually transmitted diseases, and malaria. It incorporates the latest research in rapidly developing fields such as epigenetics and the study of the human microbiome. The book ends with a discussion of the ways in which recent, culturally constructed changes in the human environment are increasing the prevalence of man-made diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, and are exacerbating socioeconomic disparities in health. Just as evolutionary biology is concerned with populations and with changes in populations over time, evolutionary medicine is concerned with the health of populations. Evolution and Medicine emphasizes the role of demographic processes in evolution and disease, and stresses the importance of improving population health as a strategy for improving the health of individuals. Evolution and Medicine will appeal to all readers with a background or interest in medicine.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"[Perlman's] enthusiasm, explanatory powers and extensive background in medicine and evolutionary biology shine through. The writing is clear." -John Easton Science Life

"It is exceptionally accessible (a glossary defines some key terms) and I genuinely enjoyed reading it and believe that it will help students (of biology or medicine) understand why evolution matters for medicine, public health, and biomedical research. This book should excite some to think more about evolution and medicine." -Daniel T. Blumstein Trends in Ecology and Evolution

"This is one of the most thought provoking books I have read in a long time...a beautifully written primer - and one that also offers a bridge into why how and why the study of evolutionary biology and the genetics that underpins this may offer new insights into the health of populations." -- Selena Gray, Journal of Public Health

"I would hope that it might become a simply standard reading for just about anyone interested in health care." --Michael Ruse, the Evolution and Medicine Review

"The back flap of ... Evolution & Medicine promises a text that is 'written for physicians, biomedical scientists, and both premedical and medical students.' The field needs books written for this purpose, and Perlman's book is a move in the right direction. ... I would gladly recommend this volume to new medical students and practicing physicians alike, as it will surely help them to recognize the deeper evolutionary explanations behind many human diseases." --Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199661725
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 7/24/2013
  • Pages: 200
  • Sales rank: 205,546
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Perlman, Professor Emeritus, Department of Pediatrics and the College, University of Chicago

Robert Perlman received an MD and a PhD (Biochemistry) from the University of Chicago and has had a career in academic medicine. He did research and taught at the National Institutes of Health, Harvard Medical School, and the University of Illinois at Chicago before returning to the University of Chicago. He has carried out research in a variety of fields, including the regulation of gene expression in bacteria and the biology of the sympathetic nervous system. He has been actively involved in medical education for most of his academic career and has taught courses on evolutionary medicine at the University of Chicago for over ten years.

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Table of Contents

1. Evolution and medicine
2. Human demography, history, and disease
3. Evolutionary genetics
4. Cystic fibrosis
5. Life histories and the evolutionary biology of aging
6. Cancer
7. Host-pathogen coevolution
8. Sexually transmitted diseases
9. Malaria
10. Gene-culture coevolution: lactase persistence
11. Man-made diseases

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