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Last minute reference material for tuesday’s session

For discussion:

“Nothing in medicine makes sense except in light of evolution”

Many diseases of pregnancy and development cannot be understood without an appreciation of genetic conflicts. This week Dr. Haig will add this important concept to our armamentarium of evolutionary explanations for diseases: mismatch, host-pathogen arms race, symptoms as host defense, explanations of senescence.

Today we will examine the following questions:

How do genes know which parent they are derived from?

What is the green beard effect?

How can genetic conflict explain pregnancy induced hypertension, gestational diabetes, and pre-ecclampsia?

What is so dangerous about multiple pregnancies and maternal hypertension?

Why do humans have placentation that is difference from other organisms?

Why do barrier methods of contraception increase the risk of pre-ecclampsia?

Why is surrogacy dangerous in terms of pregnancy complications?

1.  Ness RB and Grainger DA, et al. Male reproductive proteins and reproductive outcomes. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2008;198:620.e1-620.e4.

2. Haig D. Genetic Conflicts in Pregnancy. Quarterly Review of biology. Volume 68(4). Dec 1993, 495-532.

The Handout for Tuesday’s lecture is here:


genomic imprinting

See you this afternoon!


Categories: Uncategorized

Joe Alcock

Emergency Physician, Educator, Researcher, interested in the microbiome, evolution, and medicine

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