Relevance of Evolution:  Medicine

  1. What is causing the evolutionary arms race with pathogens? Provide an example to illustrate your answer.

The rapid rate of evolution has caused by quick reproduction connected with natural selection makes it hard for individual to fight with them and cure the diseases. The humans have found in this competition they have to making sure that they can combat these diseases and also have control over the mutation of these pathogens, such as HIV.(http://www.hivplusmag.com/case-studies/research-breakthroughs/2012/09/07/anyone-immune-hiv)

  1. How can we slow down antibiotic resistance?

There are various strategies that can be used to delay the evolution of the antibiotic resistance among them being avoiding the use of antibiotics when treating serious diseases such as viruses, making sure that one completes their antibiotic dose, when treating a bacterial disease, a combination of drugs should be used, shunning from mild antibiotics doses over a long time and also by getting rid of the antibiotic use on crops or animals.

  1. What is the evolutionary history of HIV? Why do some people live with HIV and not get sick?

The evolutionary history of HIVs is highly related to other viruses. These include SIVs which were common in primates and the FIVs common in cats. The people who have HIV but do not get AIDS usually show the existence of antibodies that are against the HIV virus in the body. This gives them a level of resistance. The website I quote in question #1 is about why some HIV carriers don’t feel sick in their whole life.

  1. How is the medical community controlling HIV’s resistance to drugs?

By describing like a cocktail of drugs on HIV, patients are taking different drugs together to help keep any resistant virus in from evolving.

  1. How is Huntington’s chorea passed down from one generation to the next? Explain in detail the process of inheritance.

Huntington’s chorea is an autosomal dominant disease whereby the presence of one abnormal gene in a cell can cause the disease. The abnormal gene is inherited from the parents, and once a single abnormal gene has been passed to offspring from parents, it is hardly wipe out because of the late-onset.

  1. Why does Huntington’s chorea persist in the population?

The disease is persistent, for natural selection never totally wipe out the alleles, and also mutations come out.

How is Darwinian Medicine Useful?

  1. What questions does Darwinian medicine seek to answer?

The main question that Darwinian medicine seeks to answer is why the body of an individual is not designed in a better manner and why disease doesn’t exist entirely.

  1. How did natural selection shape appetite regulation? How does this become maladaptive in today’s society where an abundance of food and lack of exercise are prevalent?

Natural selection regulated appetite in that in the past people were forced to walk for long distances to get food and thus lost many calories thus becoming impossible to gain fats or any surplus. This led people to prepare by increasing their appetite. Exposure to periods of famine in today’s society people has an unlimited choice of foods, and they mainly choose to eat the fatty and sugary foods and also have poor exercising behavior which leads to many cases of obesity.

  1. What role did anxiety play in ancient times and what mental diseases do we associate today as a possible result of the evolution of anxiety? How does our modern lifestyle contribute to higher levels of anxiety?

Anxiety in ancient times was needed for a human to get away from predators. Today it is considered as a phobia. The fact that we live a lifestyle that is so pressured increases anxiety levels.

  1. How are fever, cough, and other maladies useful as evolutionary defenses? Should we be prescribing medications to block these natural responses? What problems does our modern medication usage cause to the evolution of pathogens?

In the ancient times, they were not considered as a disease but rather as ways of responding to various threats from the environment enabling an individual to protect themselves. I believe that it is wrong to block these natural responses with medicine if at all they are not associated with a disease since the play a protective role.  The modern medicine weakens the role of these responsive pathogens. They block their responses.

  1. What is the link to reproductive success to our understanding of some maladaptive evolutionary designs of our genes and body that manifest later in life?

The differential reproductive success is usually used as a measure of an individual’s conformity to another being or an individual. The lack of this understanding causes the maladaptation.

  1. What role does natural selection play in adjusting virulence levels for pathogens?

Natural selection helps to alter the virulence levels depending on the optimal level of each pathogen, this act in a very major way of preventing the pathogens from evolving instead of using other tools such as vaccines.

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