HUMAN RACES AND EVOLUTIONARY MEDICINE
U572-INSERM, Hopitai Lariboisière,’ 41 Bd de la Chapelle, 75475 Paris Cedex 10 France. E-mail: Bernard,Swynghedauw@)larib, inserm.fr
Data from the Human Genome Programme has clearly established thai the human race is unique. Attempts to identify separately Black, Caucasian and Asian, did not establish a biological basis, which is an interesting socioeconomic point. Evolutionary medicine takes the view that many contemporary diseases are likely to result from the incompatibility between a contemporary lifestyle and dietary habits and the conditions under which the evolutionary pressure had modified our genetic inheritance. The search for gene variants or mutations, which could be associated with arterial hypertension, atherosclerosis and/or cancer, should be directed towards such metabolic genes.
Darwin’s intuition is no longer just a theory after the deciphering of the human genome structure – one of the more solid bases of contemporary biology. Evolutionary medicine takes the view that many contemporary diseases are likely to result from an incompatibility between current lifestyle and dietary habits, and the conditions under which the evolutionary pressure had modified our genetic endowment. Human genomes were indeed shaped by millions of year of evolution and adaptation to specific environmental conditions, which have recently been dramatically modified. Both ageing and the mismatches between modern lifestyle and genomic capacities were likely to generate many of the degenerative diseases that characterize medical practice in 2003, including cancer, atherosclerosis and autoimmune diseases. Interestingly, evolutionary medicine generates a more rationale hypothesis for searching new genetic polymorphisms linked to risk factors – a major goal for medical research.