Book Review: Survival of the Sickest

I spent Sunday evening browsing books at Barnes and Nobles. I picked up The Future for Investors: Why the Tried and the True Triumph Over the Bold and the New because of the rave reviews I’d read, but while I was there I glanced at a book on display called Survival of the Sickest: A Medical Maverick Discovers Why We Need Disease.

Intrigued by the title I started reading the book. It was so interesting that I spent the next two hours standing there and I finished the entire book! The author has a PhD in neurogentics (which I had never heard of) and using non-scientific terminology provides explanations for the probable reasons behind common genetic diseases.

He explains how diseases like diabetes and high-blood pressure may have had evolutionary advantages. Based on research on a wood frog that gets frozen solid every winter but thaws out in the spring with no side effects he draws a highly plausible conclusion that diabetes may have developed during the glacial age to prevent the extreme cold from damaging our internal organs. He also talks about skin color, downward pointing nostrils and our lack of hair compared to other primates!

Very interesting and definitely worth reading!

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