EvolutionandtheOriginsofDisease - Geology 107 Prehistoric...

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Geology 107 Prehistoric Life Prof. Andersen 9/24/08 The Theory of Evolution Applied to Disease The human body is a product of millions of years of evolution; our bodies have defensive mechanisms that range from a tiny white blood cell to a complex immune system. It is then, not surprising that understanding the theory of evolution is essential to understanding how to eliminate an illness or disease. The theory of evolution states that changes in the traits of an organism are passed on from one generation to the next. When paired with natural selection, the theory allows the fittest group of organisms to survive and reproduce, effectively evolving the species in a favorable direction. Eventually, through the theory of evolution, our bodies evolve into a defensive powerhouse. So why are people still vulnerable to a tiny mosquito or bacteria? Ironically, the same driving force that keeps humans defended from harm also drives that harmful organism need to avoid our defenses. For an example, pathogens that are much smaller and less complex seem to have no trouble harming us. Albeit their diminutive size, pathogens evolve much more quickly, “E. coli, for example, with its rapid rates of reproduction, has as much
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This note was uploaded on 09/08/2010 for the course GEOL 107 at San Jose State University .

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EvolutionandtheOriginsofDisease - Geology 107 Prehistoric...

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