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UNM School of Medicine Elective

Welcome UNM SOM students to the University of New Mexico Evolutionary Medicine Elective (CLNS 835).

Readings and assignments will be posted here weekly.

For the first session we will focus on the evolution of aging. As an example, I am more likely to admit a 70 year old with chest pain than a 20 year old. Increased risk of death and complications with age might be understandable as outcomes of evolved life history traits. Evolution informs nearly all aspects of human life history (which we will explain in the first session). Many diseases vary with age and senescence. We will explore these issues in light of this recently announced anti-aging $1 million prize:

We are going to cover evolutionary hypotheses of senescence during this week. These hypotheses include antagonistic pleiotropy, declining power of selection, and mutation accumulation. Read carefully:  Evolution of aging concepts.

For writing assignment and discussion: do you think the Palo Alto “hack-aging” prize will lead to a substantial increase in human longevity? Using evolutionary principles, defend your answer.

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Joe Alcock

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

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