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Why it is so hard for humanity to beat pathogens

In the first part of a review of pathogens in human origins, I examine a sampling of infectious diseases in people today and their diverse origins.

A colorful image of a virus preparing to enter a cell.
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Have human lifespans been constant for the last 2000 years?

Maximum lifespan is hard to assess in past populations. The data suggest that lifespan has been increasing over time.

Three older people walking arm in arm with posters of soccer players in the background
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HIV susceptibility locus protects against an extinct virus

The TRIM5α protein in humans doesn't resist HIV very well but may have once protected us from another ape virus.

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How research into the causes of health disparities matters to cancer

Science writer Jennifer Couzin has an important profile [https://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.315.5812.592] of cancer researcher Olufunmilayo Olopade. I say it's important because the profile really presents a nuanced view of the relationship of biology, race, and health outcomes: > It's long been known that black

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A case study of race and medicine: the BiDil trial

I review news coverage of a drug marketed to African-American cardiology patients, and think about the impact of ancestry on health.