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In a special encore, Profs and Pints presents: “Bugs, Drugs, Evolution and Medicine,” with Rui Diogo, associate professor of anatomy at Howard University’s College of Medicine and resource faculty member at George Washington University’s Center for the Advanced Study of Hominid Paleobiology.
Evolutionary medicine is a rapidly growing field that uses knowledge from evolutionary biology to better understand, prevent and treat disease. It’s offering an understanding of why our bodies are what they are, which allows us to have a better understanding of ‘imperfections’ that make us particularly vulnerable to certain diseases or sport injuries. It factors prominently into discussions of antibiotics, vaccines, obesity, and “poop treatments” to build the immunity of babies.
It’s also highly controversial. It remains on the fringes of pre-medical and medical education in the United States, a nation where medical students are not required to accept the theory of evolution, and many don’t. New genetic data is being used—often by people without adequate knowledge and scientific background—to try enhance the human body and build “superhumans.” Misunderstood science has revived old prejudices, to try to justify discriminatory treatment of immigrants and other groups.
Professor Diogo, who in November delivered a great Profs and Pints talk on evolution and racism, returns to the stage to give us an understanding of evolutionary medicine and its implications. He’ll discuss how it factors into worries about the impact of overmedication, a huge problem in the United States. He’ll talk about how it has played a role in medical developments such as the growing reluctance of doctors to give antibiotics to babies and their deliberate exposure of babies to fecal bacteria from their mothers. We’ll learn how environmental factors in the womb and elsewhere can switch genes on or off, leading to obesity and other problems, and how certain genetic factors can leave us particularly vulnerable to certain diseases or sports injuries.
You’ll leave with a much greater understanding of medicine and your own body. (Advance tickets: $12. Doors: $15, save $2 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk begins 30 minutes later. Please allow yourself plenty of time to place any orders and be seated and settled.)
Advance tickets available at https://profspintsevolutionmed2.brownpapertickets.com