Principles of Evolutionary Medicine

Principles of Evolutionary Medicine


By (author) Peter D. Gluckman, By (author) Mark Hanson, By (author) Alan Beedle

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 312 pages
  • Dimensions: 185mm x 244mm x 18mm | 680g
  • Publication date: 14 September 2009
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0199236399
  • ISBN 13: 9780199236398
  • Edition: 1
  • Sales rank: 334,790

Product description

Evolutionary science is critical to an understanding of integrated human biology and is increasingly recognised as a core underpinning discipline by medical and public health professionals. Advances in the fields of genomics, epigenetics, developmental biology and epidemiology have led to the growing realisation that incorporating evolutionary thinking is essential for medicine to achieve its full potential. This is the first integrated and comprehensive textbook to explain the principles of evolutionary biology from a medical perspective and to focus on how medicine and public health might utilise evolutionary biology. It is written in a style which is accessible to a broad range of readers, whether or not they have had formal exposure to evolutionary science. Principles of Evolutionary Medicine is divided into three sections: the first provides a systematic approach to the principles of evolutionary biology as they apply to human health and disease, using examples specifically relevant to medicine. It incorporates chapters on evolutionary processes, molecular evolution, the evolution of humans, life history theory, and evolutionary-developmental biology. The second part illustrates the application of these principles to our understanding of nutrition and metabolism, reproduction, combatting infectious disease and stress, and human behaviour. The final section provides a general framework to show in practical terms how the principles of evolutionary medicine can be applied in medical practice and public health. This novel textbook provides the necessary toolkit for doctors and other health professionals, medical students and biomedical scientists, as well as anthropologists interested in human health, to gain a better understanding of the evolutionary processes underlying human health and disease.

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Author information

Dr Alan S. Beedle is Research Fellow at the Liggins Institute, University of Auckland. He is a biochemist who became a professional science editor and writer. He has held senior positions in scientific and medical publishing in the UK, Europe and New Zealand, and has been editor of several high-impact journals in the biomedical sciences. Alan advises members of the Institute on publication strategy, and also has research interests in the application of evolutionary and developmental biology to human health and disease.

Review quote

How often has anyone said after reading a textbook, "Wow, what a great read!"? That is what I just did. Peter Gluckman, along with Alan Beedle and Mark Hanson, have written a wonderful introduction to the principles of evolutionary biology and defined ways in which these principles can be applied to understanding human disease. Books and Media Reviews Section Editor, JAMA [The book is] clearly written and wonderfully organized. [It] brings students to a point where they can meaningfully engage in debates on the issues at a fairly sophisticated level. SCIENCE

Table of contents

Preface ; 1. Introduction ; 2. Evolutionary Theory ; 3. The Molecular Basis of Variation and Inheritance ; 4. Evolution and Development ; 5. Evolution of Life Histories ; 6. Human Evolution and the Origins of Human Diversity ; 7. Reproduction ; 8. Nutritional and Metabolic Adaptation ; 9. Defence ; 10. Social Organisation and Behaviour ; 11. Evolutionary Principles Applied to Medical Practice ; 12. Coda: Evolution, Medicine, and Society ; Index