How does evolution affect human health?
o Pathogens evolve
o Traces of our evolutionary history affect our health
o Trade-offs between competing demands
o Symptoms may be defenses, not defects
"The time has come to close the book on infectious disease"
o new infectious diseases are evolving, being discovered, we can never
close the book on infectious disease
Past versus current environment: Diseases of civilization
o Novel environments
Example: the human body has only recently adopted its current
environment, filled with former rarities such as high-fat foods
Another potential disease of civilization
genetic basis... wait, what??
Barrow Inuit study, 1970
42% of 6-35 years olds myopic
5% of 36-88 years olds myopic
alleles pre-disposing people to myopia did not cause myopia in
ancestral visual environment
Infectious diseases declining; autoimmune disor