SURVIVAL OF THE SICKEST
Find out why deadly diseases are bred into our genetic code – and learn the answers to such provocative questions as:
* Can a person rust to death?
* Can sunglasses cause sunburns?
* Why do we need to pee when we’re cold?
* Can the tanning salon lower cholesterol?
* Who gets drunk faster-Europeans or Asians? And why?
* Why are African-Americans more prone to hypertension?
Survival of the Sickest reveals the answers to these and many other questions as it unravels the amazing connections between evolution, disease, and human health today.
This book turns our current understanding of illness on its head and challenges us to fundamentally change the way we think about our bodies, our health, and our relationship to just about every other living thing on earth – from plants and animals to insects and bacteria.
This revelatory book explains how, especially when you take the evolutionary long-view, many diseases are really complicated blessings, not simple curses. Survival of the Sickest answers the riddles behind many diseases that seem to be inexplicably wired into our genetic code, starting with the biggest riddle of them all: If natural selection is supposed to get rid of harmful genetic traits, why are hereditary diseases so common?
Through a fresh and engaging examination of our evolutionary history, Dr. Sharon Moalem reveals how many of the conditions that we think of as diseases today actually gave our ancestors a leg up in the survival sweepstakes. When the option is a long life with a disease or a short one without it, evolution opts for the long ball every time.
Survival of the Sickest explores earth, history, and the human genome to discover how environmental, cultural, and genetic differences shaped us through evolution and continue to play an active role in our health today.
Everything from the climate our ancestors lived in, to the crops they planted and ate, to their beverage of choice can be seen in our genetic inheritance. But Survival of the Sickest doesn’t stop there – it goes on to demonstrate just how little modern medicine really understands about human health, and offers a new way of thinking that can help all of us live longer, healthier lives.
Survival of the Sickest is filled with fascinating insights and cutting-edge research, presented in a way that is both accessible and utterly absorbing. This is a book about the interconnectedness of all life on earth – and, especially, what that means for us. Read it. You’re already living it.