Seminar Series on Evolutionary Medicine - Steve Stearns: The causes and consequences of mismatch - Medicine, public health, demography, and selection in postindustrial populations

  • Date: Aug 28, 2017
  • Time: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM (Local Time Germany)
  • Speaker: Steve Stearns from Yale University, USA
  • For more information, please check
  • Location: MPI Plön
  • Room: Lecture hall
  • Host: John Baines and Tobias Lenz


The Great Transition recently changed population demography, individual
development, health and disease, and natural selection. Natural
selection continues in contemporary human populations in response to
this recent change. Some of its signals may already be written in our
genomes. The demographic shift to aging populations is uncovering the
previously hidden costs of genes that improve reproduction early in
life. These costs are expressed in increased risks of cancer, heart
disease, and dementia. At the same time, sanitation, antibiotics,
C-sections, and reductions in breast feeding are restructuring our
microbiota in ways that increase the risks of obesity, asthma,
allergies, and autoimmune diseases. Thus recent massive changes in the
human environment have caused mismatches between our inherited biology
and our constructed niche, mismatches that have far-reaching
consequences for health and disease.

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