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Thanks to Nicole Bender for this commentary on the metabolism and mismatch session – 21b.

 

The session on metabolism and mismatch discussed examples of animal or cell models for human metabolic diseases. Nicolas Rohner described a species of cavefish that shows characteristics of diabetes as an adaptation to periods of starvation, while Robert Chevalier showed the similarity between human kidney disease and the kidney anatomy and physiology in a fish that changed from salt water to fresh water. Sasha Makohon-Moore presented a chimpanzee stem cell adipocyte model to study adaptations in human diet during evolution, while Nicholas Grebe discussed the relationship between oxidative stress in cells and fitness in men. These studies are extremely interesting to evolutionary medicine as they are examples of how to study possible evolutionary pathways of adaptation in humans, or of disease development in humans, beyond theoretical claims. They allow us to formulate and test specific hypotheses and therefore to advance knowledge in the field.