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Lecture 31: "Evolution & Human Health III"

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Biology 3466B
Yolanda Morbey

Evolution Lecture No. 31: Evolution & Human Health III th Wednesday November 28 , 2012 Cancer As An Evolving Tissue: -In the neoplastic clone (yellow, orange, red) we see the development of an abnormal cell line. The grey represents the genetic drift (neutral variation), the blue represents the very high mutation rate (unstable), and the burgundy portion shows cancer. In general, there are four common methods of cancer prevention: by reducing mutation rate, increasing cell generation time, reducing population size (non-genetic resistance) through early treatment, and reducing population size (selection for resistance) through late treatment. Late treatment of cancer usually leads to the acceleration of cancerous tissue (very low success rate). Usually, through the use of chemotherapeutic agents, reducing population size through early treatment has a positive effect and increased survival rate. Adaptionist Program & Human Health: -Are human traits the result of: (1) Adaptation to the ancestral selective environment? (2) Adaptation to the current selective environment? (3) A byproduct of the current environment (modern lifestyle, like diet)? For example, humans have a natural tendency to take sweets and this may in fact be the primary cause of obesity today (byproduct of current selective environment). As hunter-gatherers, our ancestral environment did not allow for to many sweet products to become part of our diet, and could be the reason for the increased consumption of sugar today. Nearsightedness & The Inuits: -Sightedness depends on both genes (is heritable) and the enviro
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