Essay on Survival of the Sickest Chapter Summaries

1280 Words May 2nd, 2012 6 Pages
Chapter 1 Summary

In chapter one it talks about how hemachromatosis is a hereditary disease and it’s the most common genetic disease for people of European descent, in which the body can't register that it has enough iron. So it keeps absorbing as much of it as possible, and this can have very, serious side effects (including death). Iron is very important for bacteria, cancer, and other things to grow. The way this disease is most easily treated is blood letting. Looks like all those crazy blood-letting, leech-sticking doctors weren't mistreating everyone. What is the author's argument for why this disease stuck around? To really simplify things: during the black plague in Europe, people with more iron in their system were more likely
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Acetaldehyde is thirty times as toxic as alcohol; even very small amounts can produce bad reactions. And one of those reactions is the flushing response. That's not all it does, of course. After even one drink by people who have the ALDH2*2 variation, the acetaldehyde buildup causes them to appear “drunk”; blood rushes to their face, chest, and neck; dizziness and extreme nausea set in—and the drinker is on the road to a nasty hangover. Of course, there's a side benefit to all this—people who have ALDH2*2 are highly resistant to alcoholism. Actually, the resistance to alcoholism is so strong in people with ALDH2*2 that doctors often give alcoholics with a drug called disulfiram, which mirrors the ALDH2*2 effect. Disulfiram interferes with the body's own supply of the acetaldehyde dehydrogenase enzyme, so anyone who drinks alcohol while taking it ends up with something that looks an awful lot like Asian flush and feels truly awful to boot.
Chapter 8 summary
In chapter 8 Dr. Moalem talks about a 12 year old child named Seth cook who has a very rare disease called Hutchinson- Gilford Progeria Syndrome. It is often called Progeria. Progeria was thought to occur only in 1 of 4 to 8 million births. But it is said to be “unfair”. The word comes from the Greek for prematurely old, and that's the difficult fate

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