Survival of the Sickest: A Medical Maverick Discovers Why We Need Disease

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9780007236107: Survival of the Sickest: A Medical Maverick Discovers Why We Need Disease

In this groundbreaking and absorbing book Dr. Sharon Moalem, a leading medical researcher in the emerging fields of neurogenetics and evolutionary medicine, delves back into the evolution of man to offer a radical new way of thinking about survival, the human body, and our understanding of disease.

Dr. Moalem investigates peculiar and puzzling features of human biology to reveal the answers to such provocative questions as:

• Why do we need to pee when we’re cold?
• Can a person rust to death?
• Why are Greeks hairier than Africans?
• Can the tanning salon lower cholesterol?
• Why are leeches back in vogue?
• Can sunglasses cause sunburns?
• Who gets drunk faster – Europeans or Asians?
• Why are African Americans more prone to hypertension?

In considering the question of why diseases exist, Dr Moalem proposes that most coming diseases came into existence for very good reasons. Diabetes, hemochromatosis, cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anemia may all exist because, at some time in our past, they helped our ancestors survive some grand challenge to human existence. In turn, he also discovers that genetic and cultural differences have led to each race having different and unique ways of reacting to their environment and subsequently how they become susceptible to certain diseases.

Survival of the Sickest is a book about life – yours, ours and every little living thing under the sun. About how we all got here, where we're all going and what we can do about it. Revelatory and written in an utterly engaging fashion, Sharon Moalem's book changes the way we think about our own bodies.

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Review:

'…an entertaining journey through evolutionary medicine.' New Scientist

'A tart, funny and fascinating confection about emerging evolutionary understanding of illness.' The Guardian

'Groundbreaking and absorbing.' Closer

'This is a revolutionary and engaging exploration of our evolutionary history'. The Herald

'Insightful and accessible.' The Good Book Guide

'Smart, entertaining and informative.' Lifescape

‘This excellent book deserves a place in every lending library in the land.’ The Oldie

About the Author:

Sharon Moalem has a Ph.D. in the emerging fields of neurogenetics and evolutionary medicine. His research has discovered a new genetic association for familial Alzheimer disease. He has also published on the adaptive advantages of the genetic mutations that cause Hemochromatosis. Previous to that he studied how bees make their own antibiotics when they get sick as well as how plants clean up a toxic waste by extracting metals from the soil.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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Moalem, Dr Sharon
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