This book starts from the premise that patterns of illness and disability in modern human populations have been influenced by the biological and cultural evolution of the human species over the last five million years. Developments as diverse as the transition to an upright posture, the farming of grains, close contact with domestic animals, the use of cooking, and the proliferation of urban settlements, industrial processes and international travel have all had profound effects on human health. The evolution of infectious, genetic and degenerative diseases are viewed through the interaction between human biology and human culture, which helps explain the variation in susceptibility to disease between individuals and populations.
The authors are biologists who have written an introduction to human biology and evolution that is accessible to a general readership, but which aims to teach some fundamental biological principles, including DNA and the nature of genes, the structure and functions of cells, the evolution of infectious agents and the human immune system, and the interaction between human physiology and the physical environment. The potential for new biomedical and genetic technologies to offer partial solutions to a few major health problems is considered, alongside the ethical dilemmas they pose for health services and for individuals in the developed world. The book contains case-studies on genetic screening and gene therapy, lactose intolerance and dioxin pollution, and ends with the suggestion that the pace of cultural change is now seriously challenging human capacity to evolve genetic and social adaptations to maintain and improve health.
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Basiro Davey is Senior Lecturer in Health Studies at the Department of Biological Sciences at the Open University. Tim Halliday is Professor of Biology at the Biological Sciences Department at the Open University. Mark Hirst is Lecturer in Human Genetics at the Biological Sciences Department at the Open University.
Table of Contents
Why 'an evolutionary approach'? The human biological heritage The story of life in a few pages Inheritance and variation Living with other species Surviving infectious disease Digestion and dietary change On living longer Tinkering with nature Living with the chemical industrial environment The impact of modern culture Abbreviations list References and further sources, including internet sites Index.
Human Biology And Health by Basiro Davey
Used - Very Good
Open University Press
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