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Evolutionary Perspective of Human Health and Disease – TED Talks

Evolution and Human

An evolutionary perspective of human health and disease by Lara Durgavich. This video gives us some great insights about the Evolution and its theories.

Transcript of TED Talk

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When I was approximately nine weeks pregnant with my first child. I found out I’m a carrier for a fatal genetic disorder called Tay-Sachs disease. What this means is that one of the two copies of chromosome number 15 that I have in each of my cells has a genetic mutation. Because I still have one normal copy of this gene, the mutation doesn’t affect me. But if a baby inherits this mutation from both parents. if both copies of this particular gene don’t function properly, it results in Tay-Sachs, an incurable disease that progressively shuts down the central nervous system and causes death by age five. 

For many pregnant women, this news might produce a full-on panic. But I knew something that helped keep me calm when I heard this bombshell about my own biology. I knew that my husband, whose ancestry isn’t Eastern European Jewish like mine, had a very low likelihood of also being a carrier for the Tay-Sachs mutation. 

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While the frequency of heterozygotes, individuals who have one normal copy of the gene and one mutated copy, is about one out of 27 people among Jews of Ashkenazi descent, like me, in most populations, only one in about 300 people carry the Tay-Sachs mutation. Thankfully, it turned out I was right not to worry too much. My husband isn’t a carrier, and we now have two beautiful and healthy children. 

The perspective of evolutionary medicine offers valuable insight. It examines how and why humans’ evolutionary past has left our bodies vulnerable to diseases and other problems today. In doing so, it demonstrates that natural selection doesn’t always make our bodies better. It can’t necessarily. But as I hope to illustrate with my own story, understanding the implications of your evolutionary past can help enrich your personal health. 

To continue reading, please visit: https://www.ted.com/talks/lara_durgavich_an_evolutionary_perspective_on_human_health_and_disease/transcript

To watch more TED talks, please visit: Ted Talk – Overcome Challenges

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