… bridging the gap
Dec 15th, 2014 by The Editors
Dec 14th, 2014 by The Editors
Evolution, Medicine, & Public Health is the venue for important publications in our field. Publication fees are waived for a short time, author’s instructions are here.
WHAT is the relationship between social status and health?
by Christopher von Rueden in the New York Times December 14, 2014
This is a tricky question. In modern industrialized societies, health certainly improves as you move up the socioeconomic ladder, but much of that trend is a result of health care and lifestyle factors (diet, physical activity) that are associated with income — not relative social position per se.
If you want to see how status affects health, you have to isolate status from material wealth. How to do that? The easiest way is to observe a society in which there is minimal material wealth to contest and where there are limited avenues for status competition.
So that is what my colleagues and I did. For several years, we studied the Tsimane forager-horticulturalists of Amazonian Bolivia, (read more)
Dec 3rd, 2014 by The Editors
The prize, provided by the generosity of Gilbert S Omenn, will be awarded to the first author of the winning article. Authors are encouraged to nominate their own articles, but nominations of articles by others are also welcome. Nominations, including a brief statement in the body of the email (max. 250 words), a copy of the article (if distribution is permitted) or abstract and article link, must be submitted by 21 January, 2015 at 5 PM US Eastern Standard Time. All applications should be sent to OmennPrize@evolutionarymedicine.org
Any relevant peer-reviewed article published online or in print in 2014 is eligible, but the prize is intended for work that uses evolutionary principles to advance understanding of a disease or disease process. The prize committee will give priority to articles with implications for human health, but many basic science or theoretical articles have such implications.
The Prize Committee for this year is chaired by Sarah Tishkoff, and its members are Joe Alcock, Noah Rosenberg, and Alison Galvani. Papers by committee members, their students and lab group members are not eligible, and articles by their co-authors or close associates are subject to special conditions.
Nov 30th, 2014 by Neil Greenspan
An article published online at the Nature web site on November 24 (Chou et al., 2014) presents a fascinating study of examples in which bacterial genes have found their way to a number of distinct eukaryotic lineages including ticks and mites, gastropod (e.g., snails and slugs) and bivalve mollusks (e.g. clams and oysters), and choanoflagellates (a subset of ptotozoans). Type VI secretion amidase effector (Tae) molecules (encoded by tae genes) can kill rival bacteria by degrading their cells walls when delivered into those competing cells. The eukaryotes cited above all have “domesticated amidase effectors” (dae) genes, all of which are extremely similar to one of the four extant bacterial tae genes. Of the four tae genes found in bacterial species, three have been transferred to one or another eukaryotic genome. Continue Reading »
Tags: amidase, bacteria, bivalve, cell surface, cell wall, choanoflagellate, eukaryote, gastropod, gene, genome, lineage, microbe, mite, mollusk, non-synonymous mutation, protozoan, secretion, secretion signal, synonymous mutation, tick, trans-kingdom horizontal gene transfer (HGT), Type VI secretion system
Nov 19th, 2014 by The Editors
Modern reproductive patterns associated with estrogen receptor positive but not negative breast cancer susceptibility
It has long been accepted that modern reproductive patterns are likely contributors to breast cancer susceptibility because of their influence on hormones such as estrogen and the importance of these hormones in breast cancer. We found that modern reproductive patterns of later age of first birth and lower parity were associated with ER-positive but not ER-negative breast cancer. Thus, the evolutionary mismatch hypothesis for breast cancer can account for ER-positive breast cancer susceptibility but not ER-negative breast cancer.
Timing of antimicrobial use influences the evolution of antimicrobial resistance during disease epidemics
How can antimicrobial drugs be deployed optimally during infectious disease epidemics? Our mathematical models show it is optimal to delay treatment to maximize successful treatments. In formulating policy, however, this must be balanced against the risk of incorrectly predicting the peak of an epidemic.
Nov 15th, 2014 by The Editors
This international conference will bring together distinguished keynote speakers as well as experts from different research areas (including medicine, anthropology, molecular/evolutionary biology, paleopathology, archaeology, epidemiology, and other fields) to debate on the evolutionary origins of diseases and on how the past informs the present and the future. Furthermore, specific implications of such interdisciplinary research in the understanding and management of human health issues will be addressed.
Nov 14th, 2014 by The Editors
The International Society for Evolution, Medicine, & Public Health will hold its inaugural meeting March 19-21 in Tempe, Arizona. Early registration and abstract submissions until December 1st. Early registrants receive a substantial discount, and all fees are refundable until February 15th.
This meeting will bring together scientists, scholars, teachers, clinicians, and students in the evolution and medicine community to share ideas and create new connections that will advance the field. This will be the first large open meeting designed to bridge the many different disciplines (e.g. infectious disease, parasitology, primatology, public health, genetics, anthropology, psychology, etc.) where relevant research takes place. Students and clinicians with an interest in the field are especially welcome.The format will include invited speakers, shorter presentations, discussion groups and poster sessions. This meeting is co-sponsored by The Society and the Arizona State University Center for Evolution & Medicine. For full meeting information, please visit EvMedMeeting.org. More than half of the available number of registrations available have already been filled.
Confirmed participants include: Carl Bergstrom, University of Washington | Sudhir Kumar, Temple University | Daniel Lieberman, Harvard University | Gilbert Omenn, University of Michigan Allen Rodrigo, NESCent | Frank Rühli, University of Zurich | Elizabeth Uhl, University of Georgia | Robert Perlman, University of Chicago | Ajit Varki, UC San Diego | Gillian Bentley, Durham University | Bernard Crespi, Simon Fraser University | David Haig, Harvard University | Andrew Read, Penn State University | Mark Schwartz, New York University | Marlene Zuk, University of Minnesota | Cynthia Beall, Case Western University | Charles Nunn, Duke University | Randolph Nesse, Arizona State University | Carlo Maley, UCSF | Athena Aktipis, UCSF | Wenda Trevathan, New Mexico State University | Matthew Keller, University of Colorado, Boulder | Lewis Wolpert, University College London | Joshua Schiffman, University of Utah | Joseph Alcock, University of New Mexico | Kathleen Barnes, Johns Hopkins University | Fabio Zampieri, University of Padua, Italy | Michael Ruse, Florida State University | Detlev Ganten, World Health Summit, Berlin | Grazyna Jasienska, Jagellonian University, Poland | Beverly Strassmann, University of Michigan | Daniel Blumstein, UCLS Mark Flinn, University of Missouri | Koos Boomsma, University of Copenhagen
Nov 6th, 2014 by The Editors
Proposals for Catalysis Meetings in Evolutionary Medicine are now being accepted at The National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent). We are looking to support innovative approaches to outstanding problems, specifically in areas realted to evolutionary medicine. Appropriate areas of inquiry include any field of evolutionary science that is relevant to medicine, or to human or animal health. Continue Reading »
Nov 6th, 2014 by The Editors
Research Grants in the broader field of Evolutionary Medicine available at the Institute of Evolutionary Medicine IEM (Medical Faculty), University of Zurich (Switzerland). The IEM grant 2015 application submission is open until Dec 1, 2014. Find more information in the attached call for submissions or onhttp://www.iem.uzh.ch/
Arizona State University: Two tenure track positions. Closing date, December 1, 2014
The ASU Center for Evolution and Medicine and the School of Human Evolution and Social Change invite applications for up to two tenure-eligible faculty positions in a transformative research and teaching initiative that will establish evolutionary biology as a crucial basic science for medicine and public health. Appointment may be at the assistant or associate level. Rank and tenure status will be commensurate with experience. Research areas may include topical focus on the implications for health of one or more of the following: diet/metabolism, the developmental origins of human disease, behavior, reproduction/development, environmental exposures, life history, and ecological conditions in small scale societies. These topics can be in reference to current and past epidemics and/or diseases of modern environments. https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/4835
Oct 13th, 2014 by The Editors
Open access publishing in Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health remains free through the end of 2014. Submit now to avoid substantial publication charges in 2015. The journal web site is at http://emph.oxfordjournals.org/ Click on Instruction to Authors for information on the types of articles published and how to submit them.
This Oxford University Press Journal, edited by Stephen Stearns, is particularly interested in original research articles.
The journal also welcomes proposals for review articles and Clinical Briefs (a new type of article pioneered at EMPH). If you have an idea for a review paper, or know of one that your colleagues are considering, please contact the Reviews Editor, Bernie Crespi (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you know of a book relevant to evolutionary medicine that you would like to see reviewed, please contact Steve Austad (email@example.com). He can arrange to have it shipped directly to the chosen reviewer.
After posting my last commentary on the ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa, I listened to the netcast, This Week in Virology (www.twiv.tv), for September 14, 2014. TWiV sessions, hosted by Vincent Racaniello, a well-known virologist at Columbia University, are generally highly informative, typically offering thoughtful discussions about recently published studies pertaining to viruses or addressing broad areas of virus-related research. Continue Reading »
Tags: basic reproduction ratio (R0), case fatality ratio, ebola virus, effective reproductive ratio (Rt), evolution, genetic variant, mutation, outbreak, respiratory transmission, This Week in Virology, virus genome
Proposals for Catalysis Meetings in Evolutionary Medicine are now being accepted at The National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent). We are looking to support innovative approaches to outstanding problems, specifically in areas related to evolutionary medicine. Appropriate areas of inquiry include any field of evolutionary science that is relevant to medicine or to human or animal health. Examples include, but are not limited to, evolution of infectious or zoonotic disease, evolutionary issues in global health, evolution of aging, evolution of fertility, autoimmune disease and allergy, evolutionary perspectives on cancer, and evolution of disease-relevant micro-organisms. Proposals that have a clear interdisciplinary focus, and involve evolutionary concepts in any health- or disease-related area, are strongly encouraged, as are proposals that demonstrate international participation and a mix of senior and emerging researchers, including graduate students. Deadline for proposals is November 1, 2014. All meetings must be completed by September 30, 2015.
Sep 28th, 2014 by The Editors
Sep 23rd, 2014 by Joe Alcock
For decades food manufacturers have marketed saccharin, along with other non-caloric artificial sweeteners (NAS), as healthy alternatives to sugar. Artificial sugar substitutes cannot be digested by humans and have been recommended for patients with diabetes and for those trying to lose weight. However, a new report in the journal Nature suggests that NAS are harmful to metabolic health. In this study, saccharin given to mice and to healthy human subjects worsened glucose control compared to sugar, and had the paradoxical effect of increasing blood glucose levels.
Lead investigator Eran Elinov and his colleagues showed that the intestinal microbiota was responsible for the adverse metabolic effects of saccharin. Saccharin increased numbers of Bacteroides bacteria in the gut and also increased the density of bacteria in the Enterobacteriaceae group while decreasing the number of certain beneficial bacteria, such as Akkermansia mucinophila. Remarkably when fecal bacteria from saccharin-fed humans were transferred to germ-free mice, the mice became glucose intolerant, similar to their human donors. Some human subjects were non-responders, maintaining normal metabolism of glucose after exposure to saccharin. Fecal samples from non-responders were inoculated into germ free mice without causing glucose intolerance. These findings indicate a causal role for the microbiota in the impairment of metabolism by artificial sweeteners.
Sep 22nd, 2014 by The Editors
The will be the first large open meeting soliciting abstracts from all in the field, world-wide. It is co-sponsored by the Foundation for Evolution, Medicine, & Public Health and the ASU Center for Evolution and Medicine. Charlie Nunn is the Chair of the Program Committee; Cynthia Beall and Randolph Nesse are working with him to create the program. Abstract submissions are welcome for talks, posters, discussions, and panel discussions.
Plenary Speakers include: Harvey Fineberg, Institute of Medicine, Stephen Stearns, Yale University, Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, UCLA, Sir Peter Gluckman, University of Auckland, Ann Demogines, (Omenn Award Winner) BioFire Diagnostics, and Ruslan Medzhitov, Yale. See the conference website for other speakers and details.
Full information is available at http://EvMedMeeting.org
Register now at http://www.regonline.com/
Fees are substantially discounted for those who register early, and are refundable until February 15th. The venue has limited capacity, so all available slots may fill early.
Sep 17th, 2014 by The Editors
Opposite risk patterns for autism and schizophrenia are associated with normal variation in birth size: phenotypic support for hypothesized diametric gene-dosage effects
By Sean G. Byars, Stephen C. Stearns, and Jacobus J. Boomsma
Proc. R. Soc. B 7 November 2014 vol. 281 no. 1794 20140604 doi: 10.1098/rspb.2014.0604 (not open access)
Abstract: Opposite phenotypic and behavioural traits associated with copy number variation and disruptions to imprinted genes with parent-of-origin effects have led to the hypothesis that autism and schizophrenia share molecular risk factors and pathogenic mechanisms, but a direct phenotypic comparison of how their risks covary has not been attempted. Here, we use health registry data collected on Denmark’s roughly 5 million residents between 1978 and 2009 to detect opposing risks of autism and schizophrenia depending on normal variation (mean ± 1 s.d.) in adjusted birth size, which we use as a proxy for diametric gene-dosage variation in utero. Above-average-sized babies (weight, 3691–4090 g; length, 52.8–54.3 cm) had significantly higher risk for autism spectrum (AS) and significantly lower risk for schizophrenia spectrum (SS) disorders. By contrast, below-average-sized babies (2891–3290 g; 49.7–51.2 cm) had significantly lower risk for AS and significantly higher risk for SS disorders. This is the first study directly comparing autism and schizophrenia risks in the same population, and provides the first large-scale empirical support for the hypothesis that diametric gene-dosage effects contribute to these disorders. Only the kinship theory of genomic imprinting predicts the opposing risk patterns that we discovered, suggesting that molecular research on mental disease risk would benefit from considering evolutionary theory.
Over the past several weeks the health news has been dominated by the outbreak of infections by Ebola virus (EBOV) in several West African nations: Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Nigeria. A study (Gire et al., 2014) published online at the end of August and now in print by a large collaborative group based in the U.S., the U.K., or West Africa applied massively parallel sequencing of the genomes of clinical isolates of the Ebola virus primarily from Sierra Leone. The results bear on the origins of the outbreak and the transmission patterns of the responsible virus lineages and may inform future investigations pertaining to diagnostic tests, the development of vaccines, and the design of therapies based on small-molecule drugs or biologics. Continue Reading »
Tags: aerosol, ebola virus, ebolavirus, filovirus, Guinea, human-to-human transmission, intrahost single nucleotide variant, Liberia, massively parallel genomic sequencing, Nigeria, noncoding mutation, nonsynonymous mutation, nucleotide replacement, phylogenetic tree, respiratory transmission, Rreston ebolavirus, Sierra Leone, synonymous mutation
Aug 27th, 2014 by The Editors