Special Issue "Evolutionary Medicine"

A special issue of Genes (ISSN 2073-4425). This special issue belongs to the section "Population and Evolutionary Genetics and Genomics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Oscar Lao

Centre Nacional d'Anàlisi Genòmica, Centre de Regulació Genòmica (CNAG-CRG), Parc Científic de Barcelona - Torre R, Baldiri Reixac 4, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Interests: human population genetics, human evolution, bioinformatics, analysis of genetic diversity, population substructure, algorithms
Guest Editor
Dr. Olga Dolgova

Centre Nacional d'Anàlisi Genòmica, Centre de Regulació Genòmica (CNAG-CRG), Parc Científic de Barcelona - Torre R, Baldiri Reixac 4, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Population genetics; human genomics; evolutionary biology; bioinformatics; species evolution ; adaptation; natural selection; Deep Learning; Approximate Bayesian Computation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Evolutionary medicine focuses on interpreting health and disease from an evolutionary perspective by using the well-established evolutionary framework and the currently available plethora of methods and tools developed in the fields of evolutionary genetics and population genetics. Understanding health and disease has traditionally focused on identifying the molecular and physiological mechanisms that caused a disease and, based on this knowledge, proposing strategies for alleviating and reverting the disease symptoms. In all of this, understanding the ultimate roots of illness—why evolution has shaped these mechanisms in ways that may leave us susceptible to a particular disease—has been mostly neglected and/or ignored. However, this question is particularly relevant in human species. First of all, humans evolved to live as hunter-gatherers in small tribal bands—a very different way of life and environment compared to that faced by contemporary humans. This change makes present-day humans vulnerable to a number of health problems, termed “disease of civilization”. Second, as humans multiplied and spread across the planet, they encountered thousands of local variations in diet and disease that generated diverse selection pressures. Those selection pressures wrote varied signatures on the locally diverging genomes; finally, drift and founder events added to the genetic divergence of local populations’ susceptibility to particular diseases.

This issue will address questions that advance the intellectual development of linkages between evolutionary biology and medical science, focusing on evolutionary explanations for human susceptibility to disease, suggesting improvements connected to evolutionary mechanisms in clinical practice, public health procedures, research approaches, or medical education and being of interest to clinicians, public health professionals, medical researchers and educators, and evolutionary biologists.

Best regards,

Dr. Oscar Lao
Dr. Olga Dolgova
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Genes is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • evolutionary medicine
  • misuse
  • disuse
  • thrifty gene hypothesis
  • health and disease
  • positive selection

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Review

Open AccessFeature PaperReview Evolutionary and Medical Consequences of Archaic Introgression into Modern Human Genomes
Received: 15 June 2018 / Revised: 7 July 2018 / Accepted: 11 July 2018 / Published: 18 July 2018
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Abstract
The demographic history of anatomically modern humans (AMH) involves multiple migration events, population extinctions and genetic adaptations. As genome-wide data from complete genome sequencing becomes increasingly abundant and available even from extinct hominins, new insights of the evolutionary history of our species are
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The demographic history of anatomically modern humans (AMH) involves multiple migration events, population extinctions and genetic adaptations. As genome-wide data from complete genome sequencing becomes increasingly abundant and available even from extinct hominins, new insights of the evolutionary history of our species are discovered. It is currently known that AMH interbred with archaic hominins once they left the African continent. Modern non-African human genomes carry fragments of archaic origin. This review focuses on the fitness consequences of archaic interbreeding in current human populations. We discuss new insights and challenges that researchers face when interpreting the potential impact of introgression on fitness and testing hypotheses about the role of selection within the context of health and disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evolutionary Medicine)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview The Role of aDNA in Understanding the Coevolutionary Patterns of Human Sexually Transmitted Infections
Received: 17 May 2018 / Revised: 18 June 2018 / Accepted: 20 June 2018 / Published: 25 June 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (353 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Analysis of pathogen genome data sequenced from clinical and historical samples has made it possible to perform phylogenetic analyses of sexually transmitted infections on a global scale, and to estimate the diversity, distribution, and coevolutionary host relationships of these pathogens, providing insights into
[...] Read more.
Analysis of pathogen genome data sequenced from clinical and historical samples has made it possible to perform phylogenetic analyses of sexually transmitted infections on a global scale, and to estimate the diversity, distribution, and coevolutionary host relationships of these pathogens, providing insights into pathogen emergence and disease prevention. Deep-sequenced pathogen genomes from clinical studies and ancient samples yield estimates of within-host and between-host evolutionary rates and provide data on changes in pathogen genomic stability and evolutionary responses. Here we examine three groups of pathogens transmitted mainly through sexual contact between modern humans to provide insight into ancient human behavior and history with their pathogens. Exploring ancient pathogen genomic divergence and the ancient viral-host parallel evolutionary histories will help us to reconstruct the origin of present-day geographical distribution and diversity of clinical pathogen infections, and will hopefully allow us to foresee possible environmentally induced pathogen evolutionary responses. Lastly, we emphasize that ancient pathogen DNA research should be combined with modern clinical pathogen data, and be equitable and provide advantages for all researchers worldwide, e.g., through shared data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evolutionary Medicine)
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