My sister considered the morning sickness as a side effect of pregnancy. The nausea, however, happens to coincides with the rapid tissue differentiation of the fetus. Such a time when development is vulnerable to interference by toxins. Therefore, she did restrict the intake of strong-tasting, potentially harmful substances thus protecting her kid
Evolved defense entails the body’s ailments that have changed over time, and they have been brought about by natural selection. They are primarily physiological mechanisms that are often associated with unpleasant experiences. Though, they assist the body in its self-defense. For instance, pain is unpleasant to the human bod, thus people who feel it will tend to avoid it by all means. Fundamentally, it is intended to steer people away from activities that cause pain because they are harmful to the body. Other activities of evolved defense include cough, vomiting, and diarrhea (Nesse & William, 1998).
An ailment that can be considered an evolved defense mechanism is coughing and sneezing. It is essentially a mechanism to clear up foreign particles from the lungs. People who lack such a mechanism are prone to pneumonia and consequently die (Nesse & William, 1998). Cough might be interpreted as a disease, however, is part of the healing process. Such a defensive mechanism is kept in reserve and unleashed when needed. It has been changed over time by natural selection thus considered an evolved defense.
Virulence is the capability of an infection to produce a disease. It refers to the quantitative aspect of the disease-causing ability. Virulence is a function of some factors that include the genetic make-up of the individual and the infection. Also, variations in the immune system (Nesse & William, 1998).
The level of virulence profoundly affects the behavior the host species. For instance the case of AIDS among human beings. It requires direct contact, therefore, will drive a pathogen to a state of low virulence. However, the host remains mobile hence interacting with others. But, the interactions that are responsible for spreading the agents have the ability towards more virulence. In addition, behavioral choices such as safer sex will consequently lead to alteration of the pathogen genetic makeup (Nesse & William, 1998).
HIV is characterized by variations in the viral virulence factors which are heritable among infections. Such a phenomena indicate that viral virulence is naturally selected at the population level. The relationship between the transmissibility and duration of disease do favor viruses of intermediate virulence.
Conflict with other organism
Peter is a ten year old boy who has been experiencing pain in his ear for some time. After being diagnosed by a doctor, he was found to have some bacterial infection. The Doctor did prescribe some antibiotic drugs that have been successively used to eliminate the bacteria. However, despite the administering of the drugs, the pain in his ear still persisted.
The concept of antibiotic drug resistance entails the fact that over time, the bacteria, viruses, and parasites have adapted to medications that were initially meant to kill them. The evolvement resistance is a natural phenomenon that results from the action of microorganism’s replication in an erroneous way (Antibiotics Drug Resistance PPNT, 2014). Thus, developing resistance. Such a scenario has a profound effect of making the antibiotic drug products less useful.
The concept of drug resistance is further clarified by the Antibiotic Drug Resistance of the ear. The ear infection is primarily caused by bacterial infection. Although it is a single species of bacteria responsible for the disease, it is in four mutated forms. In the events of treating an ear infection with antibiotic Amoxicillin, it eliminates only one form of the bacteria while the rest persist and even multiply because they are composed of a slight genetic variation (Antibiotics Drug Resistance PPNT, 2014). Thus, they profoundly thrive despite the application of Amoxicillin whose initial purpose is to treat them.
Such a phenomena emanates from the fact that the bacteria undergoes some generic variation. The DNA mutations ultimately give rise to genetic variation. The primary cause of variation is mutation, which in turn changes the sequence of a gene. Altered genes or alleles are then passed to the offspring. The Genetic Variation gives way for differential survival and reproduction. If there is no variation in the population, then it is possible that the entire population of bacteria can be eliminated by treatment with the right antibiotic (Antibiotics Drug Resistance PPNT, 2014).
The antibiotic only wipes out susceptible bacterial strains which is primarily a form of selection pressure. On the other hand, those whose genetic variations thrives leaves the most number of offspring- fitness. The best resistance traits are passed down the offspring thus perpetuating their lives and thriving through the application of drugs. It profoundly complies with the concepts of evolution and natural selection. The fact that the drug only wipes out susceptible bacteria and the rest remains, explains the persistence in peter’s pain. Such a fast evolution in bacteria has constantly placed human beings in conflict with other organisms because they evolve faster than human beings.
With such a resistance, it translates to persistence of the bacterial infections despite their treatment. The result is an overuse of antibacterial drugs that can have a detrimental effect. For instance, in the year 2012, there were an estimation of 450 000 new cases of MDR-TB around the globe. Globally, 6 percent of the new TB cases and about 20 percent of previously treated TB cases are estimated to have MDR-TB, exhibiting a substantial difference in the frequency of MDR-TB among the countries. Extensively drug-resistant TB has been identified in 92 countries, in all regions of the world. Such a phenomena are raising global concern because the new forms of resistance mechanism are emerging and spreading throughout the world (). It jeopardizes the world’s ability to contain and treat the common infectious diseases. Failure to address such diseases translates to death and disability of individuals.
The consequences of antibiotic overuse are detrimental, and they are:
Increasing diarrhea among the children.
Upsetting the gut flora- the delicately balanced bacterial strains in the gut can be disrupted by overuse of antibiotics.
They assist some useful bacteria in the gut to evolve through horizontal gene transfer.
Untreatable cases of Gonorrhea.
Increasing drug and hospital costs as treating an infection requires long and expensive therapy (Gullagher & MacDougall, 2013).
Coping with Novelty
I have been looking around and I have probably noticed that at least one every three people I encounter is overweight. I consider myself lucky that am not overweight, perhaps soon I will be obese if I don’t check my feeding habits. Its time I consider embracing feeding habits that really traces my evolutionary origin- hunter-gatherer ancestry. It is essential I checking such lifestyle diseases associated with the modern and western life such as cancer, obesity and heart attacks.
Novel environment entails the human-built ecosystems. The conditions exist in places that have been altered by human engineering. It presents a modified environment from the previous simple and elemental lifestyle of the hunter-gatherer, and human beings have evolved over time. In order to get the precise context of the comparison of novel environment and hunter-gatherer, their respective lifestyles are compared and the disease of obesity and breast cancer.
The global rise in obesity pandemic is primarily attributed to the modern Western lifestyle that is the basis of the novel environment. The western lifestyle exhibits activities and diets that considerably deviate from human’s metabolic physiology evolution- hunter-gatherer. The concept of modern conveniences and machines have profoundly minimized physical activities thus lowering energy consumption. In addition, the foods modern foods are energy dense with lots of adipose and appetite translating to obesity of the consumers. On the other hand, hunter-gatherer communities consumed natural and wild foods accompanying their high physical activities. The parallels in the feeding habits and energy consumption explain the high level of obesity cases in today’s people of the novel environment.
In addition to the obesity pandemic, the cancer disease is increasingly taking toll in the novel environment. The question of cancer downs to the nature of food that the modern human society consumes which differs from the evolutionally origin- hunter-gatherers. The hunter-gatherer used to consume natural food. On the centrally, today’s food is mainly processed with numerous additives that are cancer genic. With the accumulation of such elements, it translates to cancer thus jeopardizing the survival of the human race who are ever deviating from the ancestral foods to the modern lifestyle foods. Thus perfectly explaining the reason behind obesity being pandemic.
Trade-off and Constrains
In the African Continent, research has indicated that some people are more susceptible to malaria than the others. Can this be explained through genetic makeup of the people, geographical location or another case of microorganism evolution?
Sickle cell anemia is a hereditary disease whereby the body produces sickle-shaped blood cells. On the other hand, the normal blood cells are rounded with a slight depression in their center. The sickle red blood cells do not carry enough oxygen thus the person does not get efficient supply of oxygen to the organs. In addition, the clumps of sickle cells often blocks the flow in the blood vessels that lead to limbs and vital organs. Such a blockage profoundly causes pains, infections and organ damage (Sickle Cell Disease and Malaria PowerPoint, 2014).
The relationship of sickle cell anemia and malaria is complex. The complex varies depending on the three genotypes of the sickle cell anemia. The three genotypes about sickle cell anemia are normal hemoglobin genotype (HbAA); sickle cell trait (HbAS); and homozygous sickle cell disease (HbSS). Firstly, the heterozygotes for the sickle gene AS are substantially protected against the danger of dying of malaria. Because the AS heterozygotes which are infected with Plasmodium falciparum are eventually removed from the system by macrophages. As for the patients exhibiting homozygous for sickle gene, suffering from SCA. They are more susceptible to effects of malaria (Sickle Cell Disease and Malaria PowerPoint, 2014). The advantage of having S allele is that such an individual is protected against lethal malaria.
A trade-off of genes whose aim is to offer reproductive advantage exists in the case of sickle cell anemia. However, it does cause vulnerability to diseases. Thus explaining the vulnerability to malaria among the people with two copies of sickle cell gene.
Difference in Darwinian medicine and Mainstream medicine view an individual’s ailment.
Often I do have a cold which results in severe cough and sneezing. At times it can be very painful and irritating. That is why I constantly take medicine in order to reduce it. However, what puzzles me most is the fact that all the scientists are unable to come up with a medicine that can end such a cough associated with cold. Why lack medicine in the whole world that can eliminate a simple cough?
In the context of Darwinian medicine, a cough is considered as part of the solution rather than a problem. Despite the fact that it causes pain and discomfort, it clears up foreign particles in the throat thus keeping us safe from any harm posed by such particles. On the other hand, taking medicine is form of mainstream medicine that aims to eliminate the cough. The Darwinian medicine and mainstream medicine are constantly opposing one another.
The Darwinian medicine primarily establishes itself in the context of evolution and human biology. Therefore, it is slow and takes generation to develop in line with the concepts of natural selection. It has profoundly contributed to the understanding of antibiotic resistance and autoimmune disease. On the other hand, mainstream medicine employs a fast methodology approach to eliminating the diseases from the host. It lacks efficiency as it is prone to microorganism’s mutation and genetic variations.
Gullagher, J.C and MacDougall, C. (2013). Antibiotics Simplified. Burlington: Jones & Bartlett
Ewald, P. (2008). Can we domesticate germs? Retrieved on December 23, 2014 from https://www.ted.com/talks/paul_ewald_asks_can_we_domesticate_germs?language=en
Nesse, R. M. and William, G.C. (1998). Evolution and the Origins of Disease. Retrieved on December 24, 2014 from https://bbhosted.cuny.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-17700712-dt-content-rid-95760929_1/courses/BCCO1_BIO_24_DO1W_1149_1/BCC01_BIO_24_SO1W_1132_1_ImportedContent_20130128084334/Assignments/Essay%20Essay%20-%20Stage%201/Evolution%20and%20Origins%20of%20of%20Disease.pdf
Antibiotics Drug Resistance-4 PowerPoint. (2014).
Sickle Cell Disease and Malaria PowerPoint. (2014).