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Principles of Evolutionary Medicine (Oxford Biology) [Paperback]

Peter Gluckman , Alan Beedle , Mark Hanson

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Book Description

25 Jun 2009 0199236399 978-0199236398 1
Evolutionary science is critical to an understanding of integrated human biology and is increasingly recognised as a core underpinning discipline by medical and public health professionals. Advances in the fields of genomics, epigenetics, developmental biology and epidemiology have led to the growing realisation that incorporating evolutionary thinking is essential for medicine to achieve its full potential. This is the first integrated and comprehensive textbook to explain the principles of evolutionary biology from a medical perspective and to focus on how medicine and public health might utilise evolutionary biology. It is written in a style which is accessible to a broad range of readers, whether or not they have had formal exposure to evolutionary science.

Principles of Evolutionary Medicine is divided into three sections: the first provides a systematic approach to the principles of evolutionary biology as they apply to human health and disease, using examples specifically relevant to medicine. It incorporates chapters on evolutionary processes, molecular evolution, the evolution of humans, life history theory, and evolutionary-developmental biology. The second part illustrates the application of these principles to our understanding of nutrition and metabolism, reproduction, combatting infectious disease and stress, and human behaviour. The final section provides a general framework to show in practical terms how the principles of evolutionary medicine can be applied in medical practice and public health.

This novel textbook provides the necessary toolkit for doctors and other health professionals, medical students and biomedical scientists, as well as anthropologists interested in human health, to gain a better understanding of the evolutionary processes underlying human health and disease.

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How often has anyone said after reading a textbook, "Wow, what a great read!"? That is what I just did. Peter Gluckman, along with Alan Beedle and Mark Hanson, have written a wonderful introduction to the principles of evolutionary biology and defined ways in which these principles can be applied to understanding human disease. (Books and Media Reviews Section Editor, JAMA)

[The book is] clearly written and wonderfully organized. [It] brings students to a point where they can meaningfully engage in debates on the issues at a fairly sophisticated level. (SCIENCE)

About the Author

Prof Peter D Gluckman FRS is University Distinguished Professor, Professor of Paediatric and Perinatal Biology, Director of the Liggins Institute for Medical Research and Director of the National Research Centre for Growth and Development of the University of Auckland, New Zealand. His research encompasses paediatric endocrinology, the developmental origins of health and disease, the evolutionary-developmental biology interface, and evolutionary medicine. He has published over 400 refereed papers, 150 reviews and edited several books and is inventor on over 25 families of patents. He has received New Zealand's highest scientific honour, the Rutherford Medal. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (London) in 2001, and is a foreign member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences (USA) and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences UK.

Prof Mark Hanson is BHF Professor of Cardiovascular Science and Director of the Institute of Developmental Sciences and the DOHaD Division at the University of Southampton School of Medicine. He is current President of the International Society for Developmental Origins of Health and Disease. He has worked in developmental physiology and its applications to medicine for about 25 years. He has taught a range of undergraduate medical courses and supervised many postgraduate students, both basic and clinical scientists, and established collaborations with clinical colleagues across a range of disciplines. His current research interests extend from developmental epigenetics to epidemiology, public health and evolutionary biology. He has published more than 250 peer-reviewed papers, authored or edited 9 books, two with Peter Gluckman aimed at a general scientific audience. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Obstericians and Gynaecologists for services to developmental physiology.

Dr Alan S. Beedle is Research Fellow at the Liggins Institute, University of Auckland. He is a biochemist who became a professional science editor and writer. He has held senior positions in scientific and medical publishing in the UK, Europe and New Zealand, and has been editor of several high-impact journals in the biomedical sciences. Alan advises members of the Institute on publication strategy, and also has research interests in the application of evolutionary and developmental biology to human health and disease.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book for a growing field 11 Sep 2010
By J. L - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Bought this book for an undergrad course in a new growing way of applying medicine. Its a great introductory text, especially by linking genetics and the bigger picture of medicine, disease, and evaluating disease. A must consider for future doctors, especially with the idea that genetics plays a larger role in disease risk!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possible Best Book of the Year 14 July 2011
By James S. Kelley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Well-written,well-edited, full of interesting information. This book is not easily summarized since there is hardly a wasted sentence. The only problem may be the intended audience. I have a medical background but not enough genetics to spoil the plot. It is pitched within the range of a "lay" audience but not all may find it as fascinating. Probably too elementary for a geneticist,too complex for a middle schooler. Everyone else should read this book. It would win an oscar in it's category.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars lots of background 26 Dec 2012
By Joe Omalley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The overview of evolution and genetics goes up to page 150 or so. This is more than half the text. There was a certain amount of repetition in the remainder as well. Many examples get brought up multiple times.

It wasn't poorly written though. My theory is that evolutionary medicine has just not developed as a field to really support such an introductory textbook.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DNA 1 Oct 2011
By Sebastian Carranza-Lira - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Evolutionary medicine is a very interesting matter. This book help in an easy way to understand this theme, I really recommend it.
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