Survival of the Sickest: The Surprising Connections Between by Sharon Moalem
By Sharon Moalem
Joining the ranks of recent fable busters, Dr. Sharon Moalem turns our present figuring out of affliction on its head and demanding situations us to essentially switch the best way we expect approximately bodies, our well-being, and our dating to almost another residing factor on the earth. via a clean and interesting exam of our evolutionary historical past, Dr. Moalem finds what number of the stipulations which are illnesses at the present time really gave our ancestors a leg up within the survival sweepstakes. yet Survival of the Sickest does not cease there. It is going directly to display simply how little glossy drugs rather knows approximately human health and wellbeing, and provides a brand new mind set which can aid we all stay longer, fitter lives.
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Additional info for Survival of the Sickest: The Surprising Connections Between Disease and Longevity
Passover is a week-long holiday commemorating Jews’ escape from slavery in Egypt. As part of its observance, Jews do not eat leavened bread and remove all traces of it from their homes. In many parts of the world, especially Europe, wheat, grain, and even legumes are also forbidden during Passover. Dr. Martin J. Blaser, a professor of internal medicine at New York University Medical Center, thinks this “spring cleaning” of grain stores may have helped to protect Jews from the plague, by decreasing their exposure to rats hunting for food—rats that carried the plague.
It was iron locking in high gear. Thirty-five years ago, doctors in New Zealand routinely injected Maori babies with iron supplements. They assumed that the Maori (the indigenous people of New Zealand) had a poor diet, lacking iron, and that their babies would be anemic as a result. The Maori babies injected with iron were seven times as likely to suffer from potentially deadly infections, including septicemias (blood poisoning) and meningitis. Like all of us, babies have isolated strains of potentially harmful bacteria in their systems, but those strains are normally kept under control by their bodies.
Evolution occurs as organisms try to improve the odds for survival and reproduction. And because, sometimes, one organism’s survival is another organism’s death sentence, evolution in any one species can create pressure for evolution in hundreds or thousands of other species. And that, when it happens, will create evolutionary pressure in hundreds or thousands of other species. That’s not even the whole story. Organisms’ interaction with one another isn’t the only influence on their evolution; their interaction with the planet is just as important.