Connected to the future of human evolution are the subjects of Evolutionary Medicine and, indeed, the future of medicine in general. But what exactly makes Evolutionary Medicine different than ordinary medicine?
While preventative medicine aids in the prevention of diseases, Evolutionary Medicine has the goal of predicting the evolution of diseases in an effort to come up with suitable preventative measures.
Additionally, Evolutionary Medicine concerns the study of how evolution has impacted our responses to physiological problems like infections, side effects of pregnancy, so-called diseases of civilization like obesity, and so on.
But what does all this mean? Here are 10 predictions we can look forward to:
- The study of Evolutionary Medicine will probably become a mandatory subject a few medical schools and then slowly work its way into the required courses at many other schools worldwide, gradually placing as emphasis on Darwinian medicine as, say, diagnostics and treatment as well as changing the way in which medicine is taught and how things are viewed.
- Improved diagnosis and treatment of many diseases.
- Anticipating, or at the very least predicting, how to handle antibiotic resistant illnesses.
- Understanding how our bodies respond to “ailments” and evolutionary physiological defenses (fevers, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.).
- Discovering why women experience morning sickness, menstrual cramps and other undesired reactions to normal hormonal changes.
- Managing HIV/AIDS
- Developing preventative measures for obesity and other civilization-related public health issues.
- Developing a better understanding of how tuberculosis responds to drug therapy and what can be done to aid those infected with drug-resistant strains.
- Discovering the roles genetic mutations play in maintaining health.
- A general improvement in medicine.
Clearly, there is a lot to be learned. And as in so many scientific disciplines, the secrets of Evolutionary Medicine will be revealed as we continue to explore the past.
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