Summer Assignment: Survival of the Sickest
(1)What is the “big” question the book will attempt to answer? "Why would evolution allow seemingly harmful genetics t be passed through the gene pool?" Chapter I
(2)The author points out many ways in which iron impacts life. Identify/describe at least five. 1. Hemoglobin to carry oxygen 2. oceans "seeded" with iron can hold more oxygen producing organisms. 3. Parasites feed on human iron. 4. Cancer cells thrive on human iron 5. High levels of iron can counter-act the effects of antibiotics, by feeding the bacteria to the point that they can live despite the antibiotics (3)In the context of this chapter, explain the author’s reference to Bruce Lee and to the barber pole. Bruce Lee is compared to the iron-deficient macrophages of the immune system because they are viewed as being inferior, as is Bruce Lee, but can kill better than their fully equipped counterpart in a human without hemochromatosis. The barber pole was the place to go for centuries in the west to be bled. The pole had all the aspects of this practice. The brass bowl at the top was representative of the bowl used for holding leeches that drew the blood, and the bowl on the bottom was for the collection of blood. The red and white stripes originated in the medieval times when bandages were hung on a pole to dry, giving them the twisted pattern. The author make this reference because a treatment for hemochromatosis is bloodletting, and this treatment dates back to medieval times. Chapter II
(4)Distinguish between each of the three types of diabetes. 1. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body recognizes the cells that produce insulin in the pancreas as foreign and attack them. Without the insulin, the blood sugar level cannot be maintained. 2. In type 2 diabetes, insulin is not recognized or not produced to the levels needed to effectively absorb and convert blood sugar. 3. Gestational diabetes is usually temporary in pregnant women, and what occurs is extra blood sugar is present in the mother's blood as a result of the fetus triggering the mother's circulatory system to diffuse more sugar across the placenta. (5)What did the ice cores of 1989 reveal about the Younger Dryas? The ice cores of 1989 revealed that the Younger Dryas lasted only three years and was onset in just ten years. (6)Describe the body’s “arsenal of natural defenses” against cold. The first thing that happens when the body senses the cold is shivering to produce more muscular heat. At the same time, the body is constricting the capillaries in the extremities starting at the fingers and toes and working up. In some people, the Lewis wave occurs, sending a rush of blood to the extremities to warm and protect them from harm, and returning to the torso. Brown fat is also burned only when the body is exposed to cold. One more defense the body has is diuresis, or the urge to urinate. This is caused by the increase in blood pressure and the body tells the kidneys to unload some extra fluid to compensate. (7) Describe the connection between Rana sylvatica and diabetes. Diabetes causes the levels of blood sugar to increase in the blood. This may have been an advantage in the Younger Dryas because the increased blood sugar decreased the temperature needed to freeze the blood. Rana sylvatica proves this theory every winter. It does this by expelling as much water as possible so the blood sugar level in its blood is raised. This way Rana sylvatica can survive in its frigid habitat. It could be said that Rana sylvatica self-induces a state of diabetes to survive. (8)In Chapters I and II several inherited disorders were discussed. Create and complete a chart with the following information: Disease/Disorder, Symptoms, Evolutionary Advantage Disease/Disorder | Symptoms | Evolutionary Advantage | Cystic Fibrosis | Lung related illnesses, young death. | Protection against...
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