Survival Of The Sickest By Sharon Moalem

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Jamie Zeng ID #: 5982 Stuyvesant High School Summer Reading Assignment 2015: Survival of the Sickest “What doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger” (p. 28). In the scientific novel Survival of the Sickest by Sharon Moalem with Jonathan Prince, self-acclaimed “Medical Maverick” Dr. Moalem makes in-depth analyses of current human diseases that, ironically, may have actually been beneficial to the survival and evolution of mankind throughout its existence on Earth. With the use of myriad scientific studies and research, he formulates surprising theories about the potentially positive correlation between disease and humanity. Survival of the Sickest presents a novel concept that greatly contradicts what have been universally accepted beliefs surrounding biology and the process of human evolution for a long time. Though the associations may seem arbitrary at first glance, Moalem narrates the scientific world’s findings that strongly exemplify this concept. Three of the diseases that he examines, hemochromatosis, Type 1 diabetes, and favism, could have in fact proved useful for helping humans resist other illnesses and surviving a harsh environment. The first disease Moalem discusses, hemochromatosis, is a hereditary disorder that he himself lives with. It causes excess iron buildup throughout the body, damaging “the joints, the major organs, and overall body chemistry” (p. 13). Hemochromatosis can cause conditions such as “liver failure, heart failure, diabetes, arthritis,
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