Paper type: Essay Pages: 12 (2915 words)
Evolutionary Medicine: Encompassing the Modern World
While the medical field is efficient enough already, evolutionary medicine is a more recent field, and not many know about it. The major idea is to remove any skepticism towards the field and address it with scientific data that support what the field is about. Evolutionary Medicine emphasizes in areas where the medical field tends to neglect. It observes the natural trend of an organism at a microscopic level, and then it shifts to environmental observation, which helps determine imbalances whether it be hormonal or in a molecular level that lead to certain diseases and new approaches for prevention.
Evolutionary Medicine has a very wide range of expertise which tie in together in a lucid, coherent fashion. It can lead to a scientific breakthrough. In the book titled Why we get sick: The New Science of Darwinian Medicine written by the founders of evolutionary medicine George C Williams, PhD and Randolph who amongst this book goes in depth with the origin of diseases.
Topics such as fevers where they explain play a very important role in evolutionary defense towards diminishing infectious pathogen. It’s been said that fever are treated with some sort of medication; most of the time medication such as aspirin. However, many fail to realize that our immune system is a powerhouse of its own, and as human involuntarily we have learned how to adjust to its functions. It is unquestionable that humans should not be taking antibiotics for viral infections, however, those that are ill request for antibiotics, and doctors abide by it.
This chain reaction can cause other health related implications (Wiley, 1998). Another widely accepted example is the understanding of the human visceral girdle. It is biologically proven that bipedalism is a very recent phenomenon in evolutionary history, its understood that the visceral girdle was man-made for quadrupeds, hence the fact that so many individuals suffer from back discomfort and it comes as no surprise (Wiley, 1998). Proven fact states that the more the visceral girdle is neglected, there’s increased chances of back disorders such as herniated discs (Wiley, 1998). Therefore, preventative exercises are recommended in order to prevent back disorders. By utilizing evolutionary information, it helps treat as well as delay or prevent many harmful diseases (Wiley, 1998).
These were just minuscule examples of the steps necessary to maintain optimal health of individuals as well as the proper manipulations needed to treat disorders (Wiley, 1998). The authors to this book which once again are the founders of evolutionary medicine believe that individuals had to understand the functional and genuine causes of these detrimental diseases before they can unveil the disease itself. Thus, revealing both evolutionary and standard approaches to inhibition and treatment (Wiley, 1998). Theres increased recognition that diseases are caused by pathogens. Insufficient comprehension of evolution in regards to microorganisms makes it difficult for treating diseases. The evolution of antibiotic resistance is a primary starting point. Usage of advanced technology to help diminish pathogens illustrates that the change of microorganisms is so rapid it can affect treatment of one specific episode disease (Wiley, 1998). Furthermore, formation of a new field in the scientific world is needed to better understand the microbiological organisms that exceed the number of an individuals cells. Nesse and Williams give rise to legible evolutionary thinking needed for the understanding and treatment of diseases (Wiley, 1998). Regrettably, many physicians are not familiar with these phenomenon’s, the incorrect management of these diseases can increase the virulence of an organism making it much deadlier. This approach of learning the fundamentals of these microorganisms can promote appropriate treatment just from the understanding of evolutionary biology (Wiley, 1998).
Evolution of human physiology and metabolism.
Mitochondria in relation to age-related diseases and cancer
A discovery that had been an undetermined topic in the medical field. Is the adaptation of mitochondrial evolution and recent evolutionary medicine discoveries that link to the changes in mitochondria of earlier ancestors and individuals today which explains the genetic predisposition to certain diseases. Due to an assumption of genetic basis, an abundant amount of these diseases show comparability. Data show that genetic variants in the human population has not increasingly changed. However, it’s been determined that genes show no sign of significant change, but the environment has, and that significant change is the human diet. Its indicated that this is the first time in human history that humans have lived without any hunger. Experiments have been performed for many decades on rodents that indicate if a restricted diet is maintained; than a longer healthier, intelligent, and more active life will be presented. Geriatric related diseases are found in explicit populations, which suggest that they are influenced by regional genetic contrast. Furthermore, DNA diversification is universally proportionate. In order to exhibit regional genetic variation, an involvement in the usage of calories; imply mitochondrial genetic variation.
Mitochondria is a very ancient organelle, with their own ribosomes, mtDNA, and RNA. Every living entity has hundreds of mtDNA. This organelle is directly passed on from the mother to its offspring. Although found in both males and females, it’s strictly maternally inherited. The mitochondria illustrate presence of genetic variation, this in fact proves that regional variation was an essential component in allowing humans to adapt to different environments. Its been stated that the mitochondria are the only link which can be used to explain observed characteristics in common age-related diseases. The mitochondria are known for using calories and our diet as well as the oxygen we breathe to generate energy and heat to maintain a human’s normal core temperature. In relation to that the declination of mitochondria and MTDNA damage are the fundamental aspects that link the studies of age-related degenerative diseases, metabolic diseases, cancer and the aging process. Furthermore, the speed at which mitochondrial damage is produced is precisely calculated by the availability of excess calories. Also, the availability of oxygen can be altered Through the expression of stress response genes.
To better understand biogenesis of mitochondria must be explained. The mitochondrion was first found in eukaryotic cells about 3 million years ago. These pre-dated bacteria only coded at the beginning the necessary change for free living organisms. However, throughout the year many years the symbiotic maturity of the mitochondria increased and many bacterial genes became chromosomes or another term extra bacterial plasmid. Since then present day maternally inherited MtDNA only expresses specific genes. Genes required for proteins synthesis such as 12 S, 22tRNA, 13 polypeptides that are specifically used for energy generating in the mitochondria, as well as producing oxidative phosphorylation, and 16 rRNA. After the classification of the vital genes needed there is a remaining of 1500 genes; all of which are dispersed throughout chromosomal DNA. The left-over mitochondrial proteins are synthesized and transferred throughout the mitochondria using a variety of protein importing systems.
The structural integrity of mtDNA is considered a very unique kind of organization because its genes do not contain the five primes to three prime coding system, no spaces between the genes, and no introns (Wallace, 2005). mtDNA specifically transcribed with two promoters, one strand is known as the guanine rich which for 28 genes also known as G-rich heavy (H) and cytosine rich which codes for nine genes known as C-rich light (L). The replication of mitochondrial DNA contains two origins of replication. The first origin is the heavy strand G-rich (O-H) within the loop, and the genesis of the light strand (O-L) is found in a small region of non-coding clusters of tRNA (Anil Day, Joanna Poulton, 1996). The initiation of mitochondrial DNA synthesis is located at the O-h in relations with y DNA polymerase. The reservoir or mtDNA has stayed very constant since the formation of the fungal animal lineage (Wallace, 2005). It has been determined that genetic code began to change within fungi such that mtDNA were no longer able to be translated by the nuclear cytosol system. Since mtDNA is relocated to the nDNA, it remains as a pseudo-gene (Wallace, 2005).
The application of the mitochondria is to generate energy by oxidizing hydrogen which comes from carbohydrates consumed by organisms as well as fats that contain oxygen in order to generate ATP and heat. Two electrons are bestowed from NADH plus a hydrogen into Complex I which is NADH dehydrogenase or to Complex II succinate dehydrogenase (Wallace, 2005). It is done by passing down to ubiquinone which then becomes ubisemiquinone and later changes into ubiquinol (Wallace, 2005). After that process the ubiquinol transports its electrons to complex III containing cytochrome c oxidoreductase. Then proceeds to complex IV. All of these electron transport chain include many electron carriers (Wallace, 2005). The energy being generated by the electron transport chain is utilized to pump the protons out of the inner membrane of the mitochondria through complex I, III, and IV (Wallace 2005). This then creates the ability of proton flow back into the matrix through a proton channel to bind ADP and P to form ATP. This very complex process explains the efficiency by which dietary calories changed to ATP. Ultimately if the electron transport chain is efficient at pumping protons outside the mitochondrial membrane, and the synthesis of ATP is effectively converting the flow of protons through its proton channels to ATP. Then the mitochondria are expected to generate maximum ATP as well as minimum heat per calories being used. The mitochondria appear very tightly coupled (Wallace, 2005). The coupling of the mitochondria determines the number of calories an animal is utilizing in order to perform work as opposed to the amount to maintain body temperature.
The mitochondria play a very important role in regulating apoptosis. This entire process is an explanation as to how caloric intake in different regions of the world determine the proper generation of mitochondrial ATP. It is a very sensitive organelle known to have presumably high mutation rates. In other words, the mutations in mtDNA can be concluded as a key factor age related degenerative diseases (Wallace, 2005). Studies have shown that many degenerative diseases I have been classified as systemic diseases have been caused by mtDNA mutations. MtDNA related diseases fall into three major categories: polypeptide gene missense mutation, protein synthesis gene mutation, and rearrangement mutations (Wallace, 2005). It has been determined that mtDNA diseases identification has increased, there is also a characteristic to distinguish the commonalities that come from mitochondrial diseases. Studies have shown that mitochondrial diseases have the same clinical issues that are observed in the elderly and age-related diseases (Wallace, 2005). Clinical Studies have pinpointed mtDNA mutations affecting the skeletal, kidney, brain, Heart, muscles, and endocrine system. The same kind of tissues are affected in aging (Wallace, 2005). Narrow down symptoms include deafness, dementia, cardiovascular disease, renal dysfunction, blindness, muscle weakness, and endocrine disorders which include diabetes (Wallace, 2005).
mtDNA Rearrangement Mutations
MtDNA mutations can be either spontaneous or inherited. Stated by (Wallace, 2005) MtDNA rearrangement notations that have been inherited are fundamentally insertions. The first proven case of inherited insertion mutation identified caused maternally inherited deafness and diabetes (Wallace, 2005).
Spontaneous arrangement mutations primarily include deletions. The symptoms or a wide range all due to the position of the deletion endpoint (Wallace, 2005). Its explained that all Deletions remove at least one TRNA which inhibits protein synthesis. The severity of the symptoms caused by mtDNA the lesion arrangements are not a consequence of the arrangement, but rather the tissues that are affected by the rearrangement of mtDNA.
Systemic inflammatory diseases and pathophysiology
The utilization of evolutionary medicine helps with contribution understanding of systemic inflammatory diseases.
Bone loss and adaptive inflammatory disease
Bone loss is a form of chronic inflammatory disease. It can be categorized as diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and systemic lupus etc. Widely recognized during the aging process: Bone loss associated with inflammatory aging are compartmentalized as acute, chronic smoldering, or chronic active. Bone loss is also referred to as accidental inflammation (H.StraubMDa 2015). Evolutionary medicine in unison with immune function, nuero endocrine, and energy regulation explain that bone loss is an evolutionarily positive selective program (H.StraubMDa 2015). Nevertheless, acute inflammation can transform into chronic state due to the inefficiency of terminating the inflammation e.g., below average autoimmunity, which leads to the auto programming of acute inflammation becoming distorted (H.StraubMDa 2015).
In order to explain chronic inflammatory diseases, there are three pillars that help understand the crippling symptoms of diseases such as anorexia and sickness behavior et al. The first one utilizes aspects of evolutionary medicine which apply the evolutionary concepts to better understand diseases and health related issues (H.StraubMDa 2015). Evolutionary medicine tries to give a better clarification as to why a positively selective beneficial adaptive program can induce modern diseases in individuals (H.StraubMDa 2015). Theres biological proof that chronic inflammatory diseases that remain over months and years did not exist during most of evolutionary time. Which implies how genes and molecular structures were not generated to serve highly demanding energy absorbing, prolonged chronic inflammation (H.StraubMDa 2015).
The second pillar explains how the disbursement of high energy in organs such as the immune system is distributed in increments in the course of short-term diseases like infections (H.StraubMDa 2015). Chronic diseases that require prolonged energy usage are contradictory to long life.
Animal Behavior and Cancer
Cancer is known universally as one of the leading causes of human death, cancers a multicellular pathogen that appeared in the metazoan life around 1 billion years ago (Aktips, Nesse, Nunney, 2013). This disease has been noted all over the animal kingdom. From aquatic animals such as whales to cnidarians (Leroi, Koufopanou, Burt, 2003). The study of oncology is a separate scientific field, and isolation of evolutionary and ecological sciences. Unfortunately, the separation of these sciences stops the potential revelation of new information in the line of research. Its been stated the cancer is considered a separate field in the perspective of the medical field; however, Studies have shown that this phenomenon is governed by ecological relationship and evolutionary principles (Alfarouk, Ibrahim, Gatenby et al., 2013).
Its become a necessity for Scientist to better understand cancer, the possible ways of slowing down its rapid progression as well as its origin, therapeutic treatment that will be successful in preventing this deadly disease (Aktipis, Neese, 2013). Ecological science has been known to ignore the important role that includes ecosystems functionality. Also, how it can describe carcinogenesis, the dissipation and susceptibility and vulnerability to predators (Aktipis, Neese, 2013).
Furthermore, the major importance is concerning the behavioral adaptation illustrated by animals that can help prevent and or cure cancer with the specificity of minimizing its fitness consequences. This is a topic that is in prioritize as much as it should be, so to the assumption that cancer in animals is very rare, and behavioral adaptation used to fight off the pathogen is not likely to evolve rapidly because cancer is known to occur later in life when natural selection is weak (Vittecoq, Ducasse, Arnal et al., 2015). However, the suggestions have been proven to be incorrect (Martineau et al., 2002). The first reason being that the cancer phenomena in animals are very similar to humans, cancer in animals is not only restricted to having rare metastatic cancers: instead it comprises of malignant and benign tumors that develop during the lifetime of the animal. Which can lead to many health-related consequences. The second reason stating that cancer occurs late in life has also been proven false, because the only documented cancer that occurs later in life are those in laboratory conditions not animals in the wild. Mainly because of parasitism and predation. Substantiated information indicates that if and animal displays insignificant amount of reduction in their body condition they will quickly become prey to predators and or host to parasites (Vittecoq, Ducasse, Arnal et al., 2015). Thus, concluding that parasite and predators can increase the adverse consequences for oncogenic demonstration for survival in the wild (Vittecoq, Ducasse, Arnal et al., 2015). Consequently, cancer in animals is very common and the indirect cause of death in many animals in the wild. Natural selection is anticipated to favor adaptation that prevent cancer (Vittecoq, Ducasse, Arnal et al., 2015).
Many studies are the genetic mechanism and evolutionary against cancer currently being meticulously studied however much less attention is being gravitated towards behavioral adaptation (Vittecoq, Ducasse, Arnal et al., 2015). Environmental factors such as pollution, natural radiation levels, oncogenic pathogens, transmissible cancers, etc. are factors favoring the emergence of cancer. With this information they can indicate the potential reducing or increasing an individual’s risk of getting cancer. However, many fail to realize that behavior that can be fundamental to reproduction and survival can enhance exposure to carcinogenic components (Vittecoq, Ducasse, Arnal et al., 2015).
With that being said be the involvement of these many aspects can determine the greater or lessening of exposure in individuals. Nevertheless, when the behavior is both beneficial for the host in terms of reproduction and survival as well as the causative of increased exposure to carcinogenic factors, the detrimental behavior will be exposed to an evolutionary trade off (Vittecoq, Ducasse, Arnal et al., 2015). In terms of natural selection it will select the behavior that will guarantee the best accommodation that will satisfy the individual needs example reproduction and mitigate the risk of destructive repercussions (Vittecoq, Ducasse, Arnal et al., 2015).
Reference point: Animal behavior can link to cancer. e.g. sleeping patterns can determine under or over productive hormones which can lead to mutations in cells resulting in cancerous. So, behavior impacts the way animals react to their environment which can lead to an imbalance and result in mutated cells that can lead to cancer.
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Evolutionary Medicine Encompassing the Modern World While the. (2019, Nov 30). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/evolutionary-medicine-encompassing-the-modern-world-while-the-best-essay