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)
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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