Friday, May 19, 2006

Need for an evolutionary perspective in medicine

This is a short editorial from a few months back in Science by:

R. Nesse, S. Stearns & G. Omenn
Medicine Needs Evolution
Science, v. 311:1071

Areas of particular interest:
-anatomical anomalies
-metabolic syndromes
-persistence of genes that cause certain diseases
-when is it safe to block cough, fever, diarrhea etc...?

The authors call for an incorporation of evolutionary theory in medical licensing exams, "ensure evolutionary expertise in agencies that fund biomedical research", and incorporate evol. theory into all curriculums.

...and this more recent very short letter by Joseph McInerney (Science 312:998) discusses the insights gained from "evolution theory's recognition of individual variation within populations of organisms."
He also briefly mentions the "recently announced Genes and Environment Initiative at NIH, which will investigate the interaction of genetic and environmental variations in common diseases."

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