Survival of the Sickest: A Medical Maverick Discovers Why We Need Disease

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Harper Collins, Feb 6, 2007 - Health & Fitness - 267 pages

Read it.

You're already living it.

Was diabetes evolution's response to the last Ice Age? Did a deadly genetic disease help our ancestors survive the bubonic plagues of Europe? Will a visit to the tanning salon help lower your cholesterol? Why do we age? Why are some people immune to HIV? Can your genes be turned on -- or off?

Joining the ranks of modern myth busters, Dr. Sharon Moalem 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.

Through a fresh and engaging examination of our evolutionary history, Dr. Moalem reveals how many of the conditions that are 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 disease almost every time.

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.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Sovranty - LibraryThing

More about why disease needs us than "..Why We Need Disease," this book starts the reader on a journey that follows the co-evolution, and integration, of the human species and disease. While this book ... Read full review

SURVIVAL OF THE SICKEST: A Medical Maverick Discovers Why We Need Disease

User Review  - Kirkus

Certain disease-related genes may make you sick but protect you from a worse fate—death—argues unconventional medical researcher Moalem.Currently completing his training at Mount Sinai School of ... Read full review

Contents

IroningItOut
1
A Spoonful of Sugar Helps
23
The Cholesterol Also Rises
49
Hey Bud Can You
71
Of Microbes and Men
95
Jump into the Gene Pool
125
Why You and Your
183
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Dr. Sharon Moalem is an award-winning neurologist and evolutionary biologist, with a PhD in human physiology. His research brings evolution, genetics, biology, and medicine together to explain how the body works in new and fascinating ways. He and his work have been featured on CNN, in the New York Times, on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, on Today, and in magazines such as New Scientist, Elle, and Martha Stewart's Body + Soul. Dr. Moalem's first book was the New York Times bestseller Survival of the Sickest. He lives in New York City.

Jonathan Prince was a senior adviser and speechwriter in the Clinton White House and oversaw communications strategy at NATO during the war in Kosovo. He was named one of America's Best and Brightest by Esquire in 2005 for his work to improve political advertising. With former U.S. senator John Edwards and Edwards's daughter Cate, Prince edited Home: The Blueprints of Our Lives.

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