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Evolutionary medicine

Kattina Zavala, Michael W Vandewege, Federico G Hoffmann, Juan C Opazo
The study of the evolutionary history of genes related to human disease lies at the interface of evolution and medicine. These studies provide the evolutionary context on which medical researchers should work, and are also useful in providing information to suggest further genetic experiments, especially in model species where genetic manipulations can be made. Here we studied the evolution of the β-adrenoreceptor gene family in vertebrates with the aim of adding an evolutionary framework to the already abundant physiological information...
October 18, 2016: General and Comparative Endocrinology
Matthias Jacob, Daniel Chappell, Bernhard F Becker
Oxygen delivery to cells is the basic prerequisite of life. Within the human body, an ingenious oxygen delivery system, comprising steps of convection and diffusion from the upper airways via the lungs and the cardiovascular system to the microvascular area, bridges the gap between oxygen in the outside airspace and the interstitial space around the cells. However, the complexity of this evolutionary development makes us prone to pathophysiological problems. While those problems related to respiration and macrohemodynamics have already been successfully addressed by modern medicine, the pathophysiology of the microcirculation is still often a closed book in daily practice...
October 21, 2016: Critical Care: the Official Journal of the Critical Care Forum
Nashmiah Aid Alrashedy, Jeanmaire Molina
Psychoactive plants contain chemicals that presumably evolved as allelochemicals but target certain neuronal receptors when consumed by humans, altering perception, emotion and cognition. These plants have been used since ancient times as medicines and in the context of religious rituals for their various psychoactive effects (e.g., as hallucinogens, stimulants, sedatives). The ubiquity of psychoactive plants in various cultures motivates investigation of the commonalities among these plants, in which a phylogenetic framework may be insightful...
2016: PeerJ
Riadh Abed, Paul St John-Smith
Evolutionary science remains an overlooked area in psychiatry and medicine. The newly established Royal College of Psychiatrists' Evolutionary Psychiatry Special Interest Group aims to reverse this trend by raising the profile of evolutionary thinking among College members and others further afield. Here we provide a brief outline of the importance of the evolutionary approach to both the theory and practice of psychiatry and for future research.
October 2016: BJPsych Bulletin
Joseph L Graves, Chris Reiber, Anna Thanukos, Magdalena Hurtado, Terry Wolpaw
Evolutionary science is indispensable for understanding biological processes. Effective medical treatment must be anchored in sound biology. However, currently the insights available from evolutionary science are not adequately incorporated in either pre-medical or medical school curricula. To illuminate how evolution may be helpful in these areas, examples in which the insights of evolutionary science are already improving medical treatment and ways in which evolutionary reasoning can be practiced in the context of medicine are provided...
October 15, 2016: Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health
Nicholas J Maness
Decades of research, including the 1996 Nobel Prize in Medicine, confirm the evolutionary and immunological importance of CD8 T lymphocytes (TCD8+) that target peptides bound by the highly variable major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC-I) proteins. However, their perceived importance has varied dramatically over the past decade. Regardless, there remains myriad reasons to consider the diversity of MHC-I alleles and the TCD8+ that target them as enormously important in infectious disease research. Thus, understanding these molecules in the best animal models of human disease could be a necessity for optimizing the translational potential of these models...
October 11, 2016: Toxicologic Pathology
Manuel Monti, Giovanni Maria Vincentelli, Giuseppe Murdolo, Giuliano Bertazzoni, Francesco Rocco Pugliese, Francesco Borgognoni, Maria Pia Ruggieri, Raffaele Landolfi
INTRODUCTION: Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is the third most common cardiovascular illness after acute coronary syndrome and stroke and and the most common preventable cause of hospital-related death. Several studies have demonstrated a significant reduction of fatal pulmonary embolism attributed to the introduction of thromboprophylactic measures and changes in hospital practices. However, the influence of some demographical variables, especially age, has largely been under appreciated...
September 2016: Recenti Progressi in Medicina
David A Raichlen, Herman Pontzer, Jacob A Harris, Audax Z P Mabulla, Frank W Marlowe, J Josh Snodgrass, Geeta Eick, J Colette Berbesque, Amelia Sancilio, Brian M Wood
OBJECTIVES: Time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) is a strong predictor of cardiovascular health, yet few humans living in industrialized societies meet current recommendations (150 min/week). Researchers have long suggested that human physiological requirements for aerobic exercise reflect an evolutionary shift to a hunting and gathering foraging strategy, and a recent transition to more sedentary lifestyles likely represents a mismatch with our past in terms of physical activity...
October 9, 2016: American Journal of Human Biology: the Official Journal of the Human Biology Council
Morag K Mansley, Jessica R Ivy, Matthew A Bailey
Hypertension is known as the "silent killer," driving the global public health burden of cardiovascular and renal disease. Blood pressure homeostasis is intimately associated with sodium balance and the distribution of sodium between fluid compartments and within tissues. On a population level, most societies consume 10 times more salt that the 0.5 g required by physiological need. This high salt intake is strongly linked to hypertension and to the World Health Organization targeting a ∼30% relative reduction in mean population salt intake to arrest the global mortality due to cardiovascular disease...
September 2016: KI Rep
Lulu Yang, Jianjun Chen, Weiming Hu, Tianshun Yang, Yanjun Zhang, Tamura Yukiyoshi, Yanyang Zhou, Ying Wang
BACKGROUND: Habitat fragmentation, water resources and biological characteristics are important factors that shape the genetic structure and geographical distribution of desert plants. Analysis of the relationships between these factors and population genetic variation should help to determine the evolutionary potential and conservation strategies for genetic resources for desert plant populations. As a traditional Chinese herb, Glycyrrhiza inflata B. (Fabaceae) is restricted to the fragmented desert habitat in China and has undergone a dramatic decline due to long-term over-excavation...
2016: PloS One
Frank Rühli, Katherine van Schaik, Maciej Henneberg
The field of evolutionary medicine uses evolutionary principles to understand changes in human anatomy and physiology that have occurred over time in response to environmental changes. Through this evolutionary-based approach, we can understand disease as a consequence of anatomical and physiological "trade-offs" that develop to facilitate survival and reproduction. We demonstrate how diachronic study of human anatomy and physiology is fundamental for an increased understanding of human health and disease.
November 1, 2016: Physiology
Michael R Gillings
Lateral gene transfer (LGT) has significantly influenced bacterial evolution since the origins of life. It helped bacteria generate flexible, mosaic genomes and enables individual cells to rapidly acquire adaptive phenotypes. In turn, this allowed bacteria to mount strong defenses against human attempts to control their growth. The widespread dissemination of genes conferring resistance to antimicrobial agents has precipitated a crisis for modern medicine. Our actions can promote increased rates of LGT and also provide selective forces to fix such events in bacterial populations...
October 5, 2016: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
S L Y Ma, Y M Lu
The Chinese hawthorn (Crataegus pinnatifida Bge. var. major N.E.Br.) is uniquely originated in northern China. The ecological and horticultural importance of Chinese hawthorn is considerable and some varieties are valued for their fruit or medicine extracts. Its taxonomy and phylogeny remain poorly understood. Apart from general plant morphological traits, pollen is an important trait for the classification of plants and their evolutionary origin. However, few studies have investigated the pollen of Chinese hawthorn...
September 19, 2016: Genetics and Molecular Research: GMR
Jennifer Berglund
The science of the microbiome is arguably one of the hottest topics in medicine, and rightfully so. A deeper understanding of the ecology of the flora in our bodies is providing revolutionary insight beyond the simple form and function of our major parts. This new frontier is dauntingly complex, and most studies focus on details, failing to place these microbial ecosystems within the larger context of evolutionary time and environment.
September 2016: IEEE Pulse
Francesca Vittoria Sbrana, Margherita Cortini, Sofia Avnet, Francesca Perut, Marta Columbaro, Angelo De Milito, Nicola Baldini
Regulated self-consumption, also known as autophagy, is an evolutionary conserved process that degrades cellular components by directing them to the lysosomal compartment of eukaryotic cells. As a major intracellular degradation and recycling pathway, autophagy is crucial for maintaining and remodeling cellular homeostasis during normal cellular and tissue development. Recent studies have demonstrated that autophagy is necessary for the maintenance of cellular stemness and for a number of differentiation processes, including the lineage determination of mesenchymal stem cells...
October 1, 2016: Stem Cell Reviews
Khawla Achour, Eya Mersni, Bassem Krifa, Emna Bahlouli, Sonia Lebib, Catherine Dziri
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this work is to determine the epidemiological and characteristics and the therapeutic modalities of heterotopic ossification in brain injury. MATERIAL/PATIENTS AND METHODS: Retrospective study conducted between January 2010 and January 2016, including patients hospitalized for management of sequelae of an isolated head injury or associated with multiple trauma, and in whom the diagnosis of of heterotopic ossification (HO) was increased. A review of epidemiological data (including age, sex, occupation, type of neurological injury, discovering circumstances of HO), clinical data, the therapeutic choice and evolutivity...
September 2016: Annals of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine
Milind Watve, Manawa Diwekar-Joshi
Evolutionary medicine has a promise to bring in a conceptual revolution in medicine. However, as yet the field does not have the same theoretical rigour as that of many other fields in evolutionary studies. We discuss here with reference to type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) what role an evolutionary hypothesis should play in the development of thinking in medicine. Starting with the thrifty gene hypothesis, evolutionary thinking in T2DM has undergone several transitions, modifications and refinements of the thrift family of hypotheses...
October 2016: Homo: Internationale Zeitschrift Für die Vergleichende Forschung Am Menschen
Alexander Q Vining, Charles L Nunn
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Research in evolutionary medicine provides many examples of how evolution has shaped human susceptibility to disease. Traits undergoing rapid evolutionary change may result in associated costs or reduce the energy available to other traits. We hypothesize that humans have experienced more such changes than other primates as a result of major evolutionary change along the human lineage. We investigated 41 physiological traits across 50 primate species to identify traits that have undergone marked evolutionary change along the human lineage...
2016: Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health
Hayley Estrem, Britt F Pados, Jinhee Park, Kathleen A Knafl, Suzanne M Thoyre
AIM: To report an analysis of the concept of pediatric feeding problems. BACKGROUND: Reviews of the literature on pediatric feeding problems and disorders repeatedly reference the lack of a shared conceptualization of feeding problems. It is difficult to track etiology, prevalence and incidence of a phenomena when available definitions and diagnoses lack practical utility. DESIGN: An evolutionary concept analysis. DATA SOURCES: A search was conducted in October 2014 of Google Scholar, CINAHL, PubMed and Web of Science databases, with MeSH terms and key words including: failure to thrive, feeding disorder/difficulty/problems, infantile anorexia, oral aversion, mealtime behavior and dysphagia...
September 7, 2016: Journal of Advanced Nursing
Kelly G Sullivan, Maya Emmons-Bell, Michael Levin
A key problem in evolutionary developmental biology is identifying the sources of instructive information that determine species-specific anatomical pattern. Understanding the inputs to large-scale morphology is also crucial for efforts to manipulate pattern formation in regenerative medicine and synthetic bioengineering. Recent studies have revealed a physiological system of communication among cells that regulates pattern during embryogenesis and regeneration in vertebrate and invertebrate models. Somatic tissues form networks using the same ion channels, electrical synapses, and neurotransmitter mechanisms exploited by the brain for information-processing...
July 2016: Communicative & Integrative Biology
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