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ANT208H1 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Medical Anthropology

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Dan Sellen
Study Guide

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ANT208: Medical Anthropology Test #1 Prep Notes
Evolutionary anthro tends to look @ bio-anthro
o Ethnography produces an account of a particular community, society or culture based on info
collected during fieldwork (from particular general)
Analysis: Biomedical = immediate cause of disruption; Bio-cultural = ultimate cause(s)
Goals of applied anthropologists: 1) identify needs for change 2) work w/ locals to construct
culturally appropriate plans & methods for change 3) protect local people & cultural resources from
harmful policies
Disease = compromised function of a physiological system
Health = state of complete social, psychological & physical well-being
Healing = to restore to health
Illness = condition of poor health perceived/felt by individual
Sickness = socially recognized disease associated w/ specific “sick role”
Evolution change in: average phenotype over time & gene frequencies across generations
Adaptation = fit to environment Natural selection = differential fitness
Fitness = survival + reproduction
o Species change over time micro-evolution
o Some differences = adaptations (adaptive radiation, convergent design)
Evolution vs. Speciation (=”macroevolution”)
Constraints: exaptations (3 middle ears), phylogeny (amino acid stereo-chem), convergence (eyes)
Evolutionary theory explains: diversity of life, good design of organisms, design constraints, interactions,
“ultimate” causation
Tinbergen’s 4 ?s
1) What is mechanism? Proximate cause
2) How does it develop over life course? Ontogeny
3) What is the fitness function? Selected adaptation
4) How did it evolve? Ultimate cause = evolutionary history
Homeostasis: seconds, hours, days
Developmental plasticity days, months, years, generations
Adaptation by selection generations, millennia
Genome comes @ range of possible endpoints machinery of body (proteomes)
Gene a DNA segment; contributing to function (phenotype); transcribed to RNA or protein
(survives across generations, unit of natural selection, 20,000 in humans (2% of ~6.3 billion BP)
Cause = many ‘risk alleles’ + environmental factors + developmental factors
Epistasis = interaction between genes (control of genetic transcription/translation of other genes)
Developmental plasticity single genotype can produce range of phenotypes
Life history theory explains specific patterns of growth, development, reproduction & mortality
o Life history ‘strategy’ – optimized allocation of limited resources between growth, tissue repair &
Maximize fitness
Antagonistic pleiotropy what is done in earlier life trumps what’s done in later life
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