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Evolutionary medicine

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By Jonathan Hausmann Fellow in Pediatric and Adult Rheumatology
J Romaní de Gabriel
Darwinian medicine, or evolutionary medicine, regards some pathological conditions as attempts by the organism to solve a problem or develop defense mechanisms. At certain stages of human evolution, some diseases may have conferred a selective advantage. Psoriasis is a high-penetrance multigenic disorder with prevalence among whites of up to 3%. Psoriatic lesions have been linked with enhanced wound-healing qualities and greater capacity to fight infection. Leprosy, tuberculosis, and infections caused by viruses similar to human immunodeficiency virus have been postulated as environmental stressors that may have selected for psoriasis-promoting genes in some human populations...
April 2015: Actas Dermo-sifiliogr√°ficas
Paul W Ewald
At the close of the 19th century, the germ theory had generated a new understanding of the causes of acute infectious diseases and revealed new directions for study. This understanding contributed to the greatest improvements in health in the history of medicine. At the end of the 20th century, the second stage of this disciplinary development is occurring. The old germ theory is being expanded into a new germ theory, which, by integrated the full spectrum of biologic disciplines. This new germ theory is emphasizing how environments and human activities influence the characteristics of infectious agents and the broader role of infection as a cause of chronic diseases...
March 2004: Infectious Disease Clinics of North America
Stephen C Stearns, Randolph M Nesse, Diddahally R Govindaraju, Peter T Ellison
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
January 26, 2010: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Randolph M Nesse, Carl T Bergstrom, Peter T Ellison, Jeffrey S Flier, Peter Gluckman, Diddahally R Govindaraju, Dietrich Niethammer, Gilbert S Omenn, Robert L Perlman, Mark D Schwartz, Mark G Thomas, Stephen C Stearns, David Valle
New applications of evolutionary biology in medicine are being discovered at an accelerating rate, but few physicians have sufficient educational background to use them fully. This article summarizes suggestions from several groups that have considered how evolutionary biology can be useful in medicine, what physicians should learn about it, and when and how they should learn it. Our general conclusion is that evolutionary biology is a crucial basic science for medicine. In addition to looking at established evolutionary methods and topics, such as population genetics and pathogen evolution, we highlight questions about why natural selection leaves bodies vulnerable to disease...
January 26, 2010: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Stephen C Stearns
This review is aimed at readers seeking an introductory overview, teaching courses and interested in visionary ideas. It first describes the range of topics covered by evolutionary medicine, which include human genetic variation, mismatches to modernity, reproductive medicine, degenerative disease, host-pathogen interactions and insights from comparisons with other species. It then discusses priorities for translational research, basic research and health management. Its conclusions are that evolutionary thinking should not displace other approaches to medical science, such as molecular medicine and cell and developmental biology, but that evolutionary insights can combine with and complement established approaches to reduce suffering and save lives...
November 7, 2012: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Paul W Ewald, Holly A Swain Ewald
Joint infectious causation of cancer has been accepted in a few well-studied instances, including Burkitt's lymphoma and liver cancer. In general, evidence for the involvement of parasitic agents in oncogenesis has expanded, and recent advances in the application of molecular techniques have revealed specific mechanisms by which host cells are transformed. Many parasites evolve to circumvent immune-mediated detection and destruction and to control critical aspects of host cell reproduction and survival: cell proliferation, apoptosis, adhesion, and immortalization...
2014: Advances in Parasitology
Paul W Ewald, Holly A Swain Ewald
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To use insights from evolutionary biology to assess the current evidence for the causes, treatment, and prevention of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). RECENT FINDINGS: When analyzed in the context of evolutionary adaptation, recent assessments of genetic, microbial, and environmental associations with IBD implicate infectious causation. SUMMARY: An evolutionary perspective provides insight into the causes of IBD, interpretation of its manifestations, and assessment of interventions...
July 2013: Current Opinion in Gastroenterology
Randolph M Nesse, Stephen C Stearns, Gilbert S Omenn
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
February 24, 2006: Science
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