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Type: Journal article
Title: New perspectives on evolutionary medicine: the relevance of microevolution for human health and disease
Author: Ruhli, F.
Henneberg, M.
Citation: BMC Medicine, 2013; 11(1):1-7
Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd.
Issue Date: 2013
ISSN: 1741-7015
Statement of
Frank Jakobus Rühli and Maciej Henneberg
Abstract: Evolutionary medicine (EM) is a growing field focusing on the evolutionary basis of human diseases and their changes through time. To date, the majority of EM studies have used pure theories of hominin macroevolution to explain the present-day state of human health. Here, we propose a different approach by addressing more empirical and health-oriented research concerning past, current and future microevolutionary changes of human structure, functions and pathologies. Studying generation-to-generation changes of human morphology that occurred in historical times, and still occur in present-day populations under the forces of evolution, helps to explain medical conditions and warns clinicians that their current practices may influence future humans. Also, analyzing historic tissue specimens such as mummies is crucial in order to address the molecular evolution of pathogens, of the human genome, and their coadaptations.
Keywords: anatomical variation; empirical; evolutionary medicine; microevolution; mortality; pathology; secular trends
Rights: © 2013 Ruhli and Henneberg; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
RMID: 0020128160
DOI: 10.1186/1741-7015-11-115
Appears in Collections:Anatomical Sciences publications

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