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An appreciation of the fundamental principles of evolutionary biology provides new insights into major diseases and enables an integrated understanding of human biology and medicine. However, there is a lack of awareness of their importance amongst physicians, medical researchers, and educators, all of whom tend to focus on the mechanistic (proximate) basis(More)
Life history theory proposes that early-life cues induce highly integrated responses in traits associated with energy partitioning, maturation, reproduction, and aging such that the individual phenotype is adaptively more appropriate to the anticipated environment. Thus, maternal and/or neonatally derived nutritional or endocrine cues suggesting a(More)
BACKGROUND Severe acute malnutrition in childhood manifests as oedematous (kwashiorkor, marasmic kwashiorkor) and non-oedematous (marasmus) syndromes with very different prognoses. Kwashiorkor differs from marasmus in the patterns of protein, amino acid and lipid metabolism when patients are acutely ill as well as after rehabilitation to ideal weight for(More)
to classic evolutionary explanations for the rise of these conditions. In its brief history, the field of evolutionary medicine has developed the elegant principle that a beneficial genetic adaptation to one environment can lead to disease when environments change rapidly, as has occurred with recent rapid cultural change (Neel 1962; Eaton and Konner 1985).(More)
The application of evolutionary thinking to human physical and psychological medicine suggests several pathways through which evolutionary processes affect risk of disease. Among these is the concept of mismatch between an individual and its environment, either because the environment has changed for the whole species (evolutionary novelty) or because the(More)
In some species, an inducible secondary phenotype will develop some time after the environmental change that evokes it. Nishimura (2006) [4] showed how an individual organism should optimize the time it takes to respond to an environmental change ("waiting time''). If the optimal waiting time is considered to act over the population, there are implications(More)