Survival of the Sickest : A Medical Maverick Discovers Why We Need Disease
ISBN 13: 9780007224401
Publication Date: 2007
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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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