Post Labor Day Lecture

We will discuss an evolutionary perspective of disease symptoms.

Some symptoms represent host defenses. Examples include fever, cough, diarrhea, and perhaps morning sickness.

Some symptoms represent pathogen reproductive strategies. Examples include profuse diarrhea in Vibrio cholerae infection.

Other symptoms might have been adaptive during evolutionary past, but now are subject to environmental mismatch. Severe allergy and autoimmune diseases come to mind.

Here is last year’s lecture. Morning Sickness and Menopause

Reading for next week’s writing assignment nausea-in-pregnancy

For next week, please give your take on the Flaxman/Sherman hypothesis of nausea in pregnancy. Feel free to argue instead that nausea in pregnancy is maladaptive or pathological. Remember, to get full credit, you need to include two item that were covered in lecture or from the reading. I will post some optional readings soon.

Optional:Here is an opposing viewpoint, strongly recommended if you wish to argue against Flaxman/Sherman.

If you want to read more about the smoke detector principle

If you want to learn more about fungi that hijack ants’ brains

If you want to learn more about the radiolab hookworm story

If you want to read about Mark Lyte’s recent work on bacterial neurotransmitters, plus this Commentary on neuroactive probiotics

Joe Alcock MD

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