The International Society for Evolution, Medicine & Public Health has just announced an article by Sara Myers as the winner of the 2017 George C. Williams Prize. Myers, along with her colleagues Oskar Burger and Sarah E. Johns from the University of Kent, Canterbury, are recognized for their paper, “Postnatal depression and reproductive success in modern, low-fertility contexts.” The paper was published in Issue 1, volume 2016 of Evolution, Medicine & Public Health. EMPH is an open access Oxford University Press Journal sponsored by ISEMPH. Special offer: Those attending the ISEMPH or ESEB meetings in August in Groningen Netherlands are eligible to submit a paper to the journal without the usual author’s fees.
The prize committee included Katie Hinde, Ruth Mace and committee chair Andrew Read. The winners will receive a $5,000 prize, courtesy of the generous Doris Williams and other donors, and an invitation to present their paper at the annual meeting of the Society in Groningen in August. Congratulations to Sarah, Oskar and Sarah!
Sandra Bream Andersen has just contacted us to let ISEMPH members know that the Lorentz Center in Leiden is hosting a workshop they think might be of interest to many, the full title of which is “Microbial Darwinian Medicine: A Workshop at the Interface of Medicine and Microbial Eco-Evolutionary Biology”. The workshop will be held between August 14th and 17th this year, just prior to the nearby ISEMPH annual meeting in Groningen. The link will take you to registration or allow you to submit an application to participate.
Below is an invitation to contribute to a study on strengths and limitations of human-based research in terms of broader applicability that should take only a few minutes. Please contribute if you can.
Many fundamental concepts in evolutionary biology and behavioral ecology were discovered using non-human systems. Some or many of these concept are also applicable to humans. Here, we have become interested in whether this process can also go the other way around: to which degree can data from humans be relevant to understanding biological fundamentals in these fields? This question has become the core theme of a Proceedings B special issue later this year edited by Erik Postma and Sarah Brosnan.
One unknown in this theme is the overall opinion of researchers in biology related fields. For example, to what degree do researchers believe that human studies can be relevant to discover evolutionary fundamentals? Do researchers believe that humans are subject to natural and/or sexual selection? To quantify the opinion of researchers in biology related fields on these and other issues, we have developed a survey. We particularly hope to identify common perceived strengths and limitations of human-based research in terms of broader applicability.
The survey is short and simple and should only take a couple of minutes to complete. The collected data will be published in the Proceedings B special issue. Data remain completely confidential.
We hope we can motivate you to participate to the survey. Your opinion and the reasons why are important. We believe this issue is relevant not only to researchers, but also to research councils, funding agencies and, more generally, the public opinion.
Thank you very much in advance for your cooperation,
Michael Briga and the Lummaa team,
University of Turku, Finland
Image: Through the lens: three-generations of reproduction in historical Finns. What can we learn from studying human populations? Do grandmothers improve grand offspring survival? Does family size affect reproductive success and trait inheritance? Are contemporary humans evolving?
The landmark 2017 ISEMPH 3rd annual meeting will be in Groningen, The Netherlands, on August 18-21, 2017, in conjunction with the European Society for Evolutionary Biology (ESEB).
February 15 is the deadline for submitting abstracts and the opening date for early bird discounted registration, so click here for full meeting information and click this link to submit your abstract today.
Keynote speakers include Mervyn Singer (UK), Sylvia Cremer (Austria), Francisco Úbeda (UK), Peer Bork (Germany) and Jonathan Wells (UK), and for the overlapping part of the two meetings, Svante Pääbo (Germany), Linda Partridge (UK) and Stephen Stearns (USA). In addition to these stellar talks, paper sessions and poster sessions, the program committee, led by Frank Rühli and Nicole Bender, is planning diverse activities including workshops, round tables and social events to foster networking with international colleagues. They welcome comments and suggestions sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
ISEMPH members get a considerable discount on registration fees, and a further 20% discount is offered to those who register for both ISEMPH and the ESEB meeting. For full details see the Society’s website.
Sponsored by the Arizona State University Center for Evolution and Medicine In collaboration with the ASU Biosocial Complexity Initiative Live streaming link at the CEM Website on the symposium day This free symposium brings together experts from evolutionary biology, medicine, physiology, genetics, engineering, and complex systems to develop strategies for testing hypotheses about why natural selection has left physiological control systems vulnerable to failures that cause diseases such as cancer, autoimmune diseases, obesity, and emotional disorders.
Learn more and register (registration required only for on site attendees)
Thursday February 2, at noon (AZ time zone)
Keynote: The State of Detection Theory Pete Trimmer, NSF-Funded Postdoctoral Researcher University of California, Davis Winner of the 2016 George C. Williams Prize for the best paper in Evolution, Medicine & Public Health
Friday, February 3 Symposium 8:30-12:00 (Phoenix, AZ time zone)
8:30am Randolph M. Nesse (ASU Life Sciences) Fitness cliffs and vicious cycles: Evolutionary explanations for vulnerable control systems 8:50am Fred Nijhout (Duke University) Homeostatic mechanisms enable the persistence and accumulation of deleterious genes 9:10am Carl Carlson (Carlson Reliability Consulting) Using Failure Mode and Effects Analysis to advance evolutionary biology research and application 9:30am Jay Schulkin (University of Washington Medical School) Obesity: Biology and Culture 9:50am Athena Aktipis (ASU Psychology) The good, the bad and the arms race: How cooperation, competition and escalating conflict shape human health and disease 10:30am Ken Buetow (ASU Life Sciences) Complex human disease phenotypes as emergent properties of network variability 10:50am Manfred Laubichler (ASU Life Sciences) Stability vs. Vulnerability: The evolutionary conundrum 11:10am Rustom Antia (Emory University) ”Design principles” for robust immune systems 11:30am Carl Bergstrom (University of Washington) A hygiene hypothesis for anxiety
Four essays address the Hot Topic of Alzheimer’s Disease. Please contribute your comments at the end of each essay, or send your own essay to email@example.com.
On the 23rd November this year pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly announced that the phase II early-intervention Alzheimer’s disease trial for a monoclonal antibody – solanezumab – designed to remove excess beta-amyloid protein from the brain, had failed. The news has caused another round of hand-wringing and head-scratching in the Alzheimer’s research community because it comes on the back of many trials, costing decades-worth of valuable time and billions of dollars, that has assumed the classical amyloid hypothesis will provide valuable targets for drug intervention. In the light of this recent failure Evmedreview presents a new HOT TOPIC feature of three consecutive posts commenting on this perplexing failure. The first, from Evmedreview associate editor Jeremy Taylor, discusses whether synapse loss is a better indicator of Alzheimer’s disease than amyloid and tau pathology and highlights the role of environmental factors and the immune system in AD etiology. The second, from Caleb Finch, makes the point that environmental factors have been far too overlooked in AD etiology and, in a typical example of blue sky (or should it be grey sky in this case) thinking, is the first article to highlight the role of smoke, smoking and atmospheric pollution. The third commentary, from Robert Moir, is based on his work over the last decade that shows beta-amyloid to be a potent brain-based antimicrobial with obvious repercussions for the caution with which we should approach clearing amyloid out of the brain, and for the possible role of microbial infection as the initial trigger for AD pathology.
The following links demonstrate the extent to which successive drug trial failures have promoted rounds of navel gazing within the AD research community.