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BIO 3155G: Evolutionary Medicine

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This guide will assist you in conducting research for your topic papers assigned in BIO 3155G Introduction to Evolutionary Medicine, with Dr. Ann Fritz. In it, you'll find:
     -- A short video clip describing evolutionary medicine by a leading scholar in the field
     -- Sample search terms to use when looking for sources for this assignment
     -- Recommended databases to locate magazine and news articles
What is evolutionary medicine?
"In a nutshell, what is Darwinian medicine, and what can it tell us?" Dr. Randolph Nesse explains in this 2008 interview:

Identify your search terms
What is your research topic? Here are some sample search terms. Try them when searching for magazine and news articles, using the recommended databases. Combine two to three terms to focus your search. Use "quotations marks" to search words as a phrase, as shown below, which limits your search to the most relevant results.

General terms

     - "evolutionary medicine"
     - "Darwinian medicine"
     - "evolution (biology)"
     - "natural selection"
     - "adaptation (biology)"
     - genes or genetics
     - genomes or genomics
     - humans

Diseases of civilization

     - Alzheimer's
     - cancer (or breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, etc.)
     - "coronary heart disease"
     - depression or "mental depression"
     - diabetes or "type 2 diabetes" or "non-insulin-dependent diabetes"
     - "high blood pressure" or hypertension
     - malaria (sickle cell allele)
     - obesity
     - osteoporosis

Additional topics

     - aging
     - "antibiotic resistance"
     - "genetic drift"
     - "molecular clock" or "molecular evolution"
     - "neutral mutations"
     - "pathogenic microorganisms"
     - "stem cells"
Find articles
For this course, you will primarily be using magazine and news articles written for a general audience (as compared with the more technical journal articles written for scholars of science).

To find magazine and news articles, use any of the following resources. Try searching in three or four of these resources to find the best articles for your assignment.

Magazine Articles

These databases may be searched simultaneously. Click on one of the links below, then select additional relevant databases before you continue in to run your searches.

Academic Search Complete
Multidisciplinary | Broad Subject Coverage | General Sciences

Health Source - Consumer Edition
General Health Topics | Consumer Information | Nutrition | Childcare | Sports Medicine | Wellness | Exercise

Consumer Health Complete
General Consumer Health Topics | Streaming Video

MasterFILE Premier
Multidisciplinary | General Interest

**Important!** On your search results page, you may want to use the option in the left-hand column to Refine Results by Source Types - Magazines and News (if available), as illustrated below.

Source types labeled as Academic Journals are more scholarly and may be too technical for the purposes of this assignment. If you are having trouble understanding an Academic Journal article, look for a Magazine or News article on your topic, instead.


Newspaper Articles

Science Daily
Recent scholarly scientific articles are summarized in layman's terms. Use the search box on the top right of the page.

New York Times
Use the big red search box in the center of the page.

BBC Health
Use the search box on the top right of the page.
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Subject Specialist
Picture: Kirstin Duffin

Kirstin Duffin
Librarian Liaison for Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Geology/Geography
Office: 217 581-7550

Reference Desk: 217-581-6072
Email the Reference Desk

Explore more
Whether for use in class or after, these books on evolutionary medicine are available to check out from Booth Library.

The hygiene hypothesis and Darwinian medicine
Electronic book: Access online

Western diseases : an evolutionary perspective
Call number: RB152 .P655 2008

Missing microbes : how the overuse of antibiotics is fueling our modern plagues
Call number: RM267 .B57 2014

The story of the human body : evolution, health, and disease
Call number: QP38 .L74 2014x

Body by Darwin : how evolution shapes our health and transforms medicine
Call number: QH366.2 .T374 2015

Survival of the sickest : a medical maverick discovers why we need disease
Call number: RB155 .M59 2007

The viral storm : the dawn of a new pandemic age
Call number: QR360 .W65 2011

Ancient bodies, modern lives : how evolution has shaped women's health
Call number: RA778 .T673 2010

Evolution of sickness and healing
Call number: RA418 .F323 1997

Evolving : the human effect and why it matters
Call number: QH360.5 .F24 2012