Charles Darwin 's Survival Of The Sickest By Dr. Sharon Moalem

2195 Words9 Pages
Throughout modern day society, many diseases that humans would consider harmful and just simply and outright, fatal, were actually beneficial to our ancestors, centuries ago. Granted, there are definitely many diseases today that are killing millions of people, but these same diseases that exist have done the opposite for our ancestors. Many of these diseases such as diabetes, and hemochromatosis that we consider deadly provide us a follow up question: Why was this disease selected into our gene pool? And this question will date us back to centuries ago when our ancestors had actually benefited from such “diseases” as a crucial way to survive. The father of evolution, Charles Darwin describes his theory behind natural selection. Natural…show more content…
Essentially, iron is what allows almost every form of life to metabolize and function. In fact, our bodies body has several mechanisms that prevent access to iron to pathogens and other infectious bacteria thrive on iron that may harm our bodies known as the acute phase response. The author describes this as he states “the bloodstream is flooded with illness-fighting proteins, and, at the same time, iron is locked away to prevent biological invaders from using it against us (7).” So us readers can take away the idea that iron is crucial for our bodies. So how could potentially accumulating too much iron affect our health? That 's when hemochromatosis comes along. Our bodies assumes that the person is lacking iron in their system so they continually absorb the iron in the intestine. Not only that, don’t forget that bacteria and diseases also rely on iron to grow and accumulate.This can cause cancer cells to grow and spread continuously without stopping if it consumes our iron. Some of the symptoms of hemochromatosis are shown as the author observes from Aran Gordon, a natural long-distance runner. From the book Moalem describes it as “He was tired all the time. His joints hurt. His heart seemed to skip a funny beat. He told his running partner he wasn’t sure he could go on with training, with running at all” (1). He was eventually diagnosed through

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