Evolution in Health and Disease / Edition 2

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In this fully revised and updated edition, the editors have integrated a completely new set of contributions from the leading researchers in the field to describe the latest research in evolutionary medicine, providing a fresh summary of this rapidly expanding field 10 years after its predecessor was first compiled. It continues to adopt a broad approach to the subject, drawing on medically relevant research from evolutionary genetics, human behavioral ecology, evolutionary microbiology (especially experimental evolution of virulence and resistance), the evolution of aging and degenerative disease, and other aspects of biology or medicine where evolutionary approaches make important contributions.

Evolution in Health and Disease describes how evolutionary thinking gives valuable insights and fresh perspectives into human health and disease, establishing evolutionary biology as an essential complementary science for medicine. Integrating evolutionary thought into medical research and practice helps to explain the origins of many medical conditions, including diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, asthma, allergies, other autoimmune diseases, and aging. It also provides life-saving insights into the evolutionary responses of pathogens to antibiotics, vaccinations, and other human interventions. Why do we grow old? How can we stay healthy as we age? The book discusses these and many other fascinating questions, as well as suggesting exciting possibilities for future treatment and research.

This research level text is suitable for graduate level students and researchers in the fields of evolutionary (Darwinian) medicine, evolutionary biology, anthropology, developmental biology and genetics. It will also be of relevance and use to medical researchers and doctors.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In contrast with much of the writing on evolution in the medical literature over the past century, the contributions to this book almost always apply evolutionary perspectives accurately and consistently. This volume will therefore serve as a valuable reference in academia and medicine as well as for committed readers outside of these arenas."—The Quarterly Review of Biology
Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Lee F Greer, BA, MS, PhD (La Sierra University)
Description: This strikingly well chosen compendium brings together nearly 50 experts in a wide array of disciplines in biomedical science that intersect with and are informed by evolutionary biology. In addition to contributing themselves, editors Stephen C. Stearns and Jacob C. Koella have brought together authors to provide an important update on the first edition of 1999. Part I introduces the evolutionary discipline as it relates to medicine, and parts II-V applies this to infectious diseases, behavior, human life histories and behavior, new diseases, and aging.
Purpose: The editors propose to make the subject matter accessible to a wide audience of educators and graduate students in the biosciences, medical students and practitioners, and the public. Such a contribution is ambitious and indeed necessary. By and large they succeed admirably. It is satisfying to see how the editors have managed to achieve a remarkable degree of similarity of tone and technicality across the contributions from so many authors.
Audience: The authors and their editors have largely succeeded in keeping the material accessible for their target audience. Unfortunately, some instances of technical terms without adequate definition do appear, but the authors very often succeed in adequately explaining discipline-specific terms and concepts. The degree to which they succeed indicates the intimate knowledge of the material by the authors and their editors.
Features: In part I, the authors discuss major classical evolutionary concepts from allele frequencies in population genetics, natural selection, adaptation, and phylogenetics as they relate to medicine. In part II, the readers learns about the co-evolution of humans and infectious diseases and datasets in the age of genomics and examples of medical importance of our evolutionary history. In part III, natural selection and adaptation is applied to life history, hormones, immunity, and behavioral ecology. Part IV focuses on the evolution of human pathogens, and part V brings evolutionary insights to developmental biology, chronic and degenerative ailments, and aging.
Assessment: This second edition is a welcome addition to the growing integration of the biomedical sciences. As an evolutionary biologist, I found myself grateful more than once that these well organized summary articles (with their references) on so many disciplines connected to evolutionary biology and genomics could be found between only two covers!
Helps establish evolutionary biology as a legitimate discipline by challenging the notion that the body is a Platonic ideal designed for health and happiness except for happenstance flaws, and characterizing it instead as a bundle of trade-offs shaped by natural selection to maximize reproductive success in the ancestral environment. Scientists from around the world place within that context such matters as human history and human genes; natural selection, conflict, and constraints; pathogens, drugs, and virulence; and non-infectious and degenerative disease. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199207466
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 1/10/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 841,540
  • Product dimensions: 9.60 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Professor Stearns specializes in life history evolution, which links the fields of ecology and evolutionary biology, in evolutionary medicine, and in evolutionary functional genomics. He came to Yale in 2000 from the University of Basel, Switzerland, where he had been professor of zoology since 1983 and held several administrative posts. Prior to moving to Basel he was an assistant professor in the Biology Department at Reed College in Oregon. Born in Hawaii and a 1967 graduate of Yale College, Stearns earned a M.S. from the University of Wisconsin and a Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia.

Professor Koella's interests lie in the coevolution of parasites and hosts. He specializes in the evolutionary epidemiology of malaria and in the application of evolutionary ideas to the control of malaria. After obtaining a Masters' in mechanical engineering at the ETH Zurich and a PhD in evolutionary biology at the University of Basel he worked for several years at the Swiss Tropical Institute Basel as a malaria epidemiologist before moving on to positions in Switzerland, Denmark and France. He arrived at Imperial College in 2005 as a Chair in Epidemiology.

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Table of Contents

Part I. Introduction
Chapter 1. Introducing evolutionary thinking for medicine, by Stephen C. Stearns, Randolph M. Nesse, and David Haig
Part II. The history and variation of human genes
Chapter 2. Global spatial patterns of infectious diseases and human evolution, by Jean-François Guégan, Franck Prugnolle, and Frédéric Thomas
Chapter 3. Medically relevant variation in the human genome, by Diddahally R. Govindaraju and Lynn B. Jorde
Chapter 4. Health consequences of ecogenetic variation, by Michael Bamshad and Arno G. Motulsky
Chapter 5. Human genetic variation of medical significance by Kenneth K. Kidd and Judith R. Kidd
Part III. Natural selection and evolutionary conflicts
Chapter 6. Intimate relations: evolutionary conflicts of pregnancy and childhood, by David Haig
Chapter 7. How hormones mediate tradeoffs in human health and disease, by Richard G. Bribiescas and Peter T. Ellison
Chapter 8. Functional significance of MHC variation in mate choice, reproductive outcome, and disease risk, by Dagan A. Loisel, Susan C. Alberts, and Carole Ober
Chapter 9. Perspectives on human health and disease from evolutionary and behavioral ecology, by Beverly I. Strassmann and Ruth Mace
Part IV. Pathogens: resistance, virulence, variation, and emergence
Chapter 10. The ecology and evolution of antibiotic resistant bacteria, by Carl T. Bergstrom and Michael Feldgarden
Chapter 11. Pathogen evolution in a vaccinated world, by Andrew F. Read and Margaret J. Mackinnon
Chapter 12. The evolution and expression of virulence, by Dieter Ebert and James J. Bull
Chapter 13. Evolutionary origins of diversity in human viruses, by Paul M. Sharp, Elizabeth Bailes, and Louise V. Wain
Chapter 14. The population structure of pathogenic bacteria, by Daniel Dykhuizen and Awdhesh Kalia
Chapter 15. Whole-genome analysis of pathogen evolution, by Julian Parkhill
Chapter 16. Emergence of new infectious diseases, by Mark Woolhouse and Rustom Antia
Chapter 17. Evolution of parasites, by Jacob C. Koella and Paul Turner
Part V. Noninfectious and degenerative disease
Chapter 18. Evolutionary biology as a foundation for studying aging and aging-related disease, by Martin Ackermann and Scott D. Pletcher
Chapter 19. Evolution, developmental plasticity, and metabolic disease, by Christopher W. Kuzawa, Peter D. Gluckman, Mark A. Hanson, and Alan S. Beedle
Chapter 20. Lifestyle, diet, and disease: comparative perspectives on the determinants of chronic health risks, by William R. Leonard
Chapter 21. Cancer: evolutionary origins of vulnerability, by Mel Greaves
Chapter 22. Cancer as a microevolutionary process, by Natalia L. Komarova and Dominik Wodarz
Chapter 23. The evolutionary context of human aging and degenerative disease, by Steven N. Austad and Caleb E. Finch

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