The full up-to-date version of The Evolution & Medicine Review is at   
This truncated version is an experiment to see if it should be integrated into the ISEMPH site. Comments welcome. 

  • 5 Mar 2020 7:35 PM | Randolph Nesse (Administrator)

    Applications are now open for the 2020 Sydney History and Philosophy of Science Winter School, which will take place from Monday 27 July to Friday 31 July. The year’s topic is the History and Philosophy of Evolutionary Medicine. The school will run for four full days with an excursion on the fifth day. 

    Both history of science and philosophy of science have the potential to contribute to a deeper understanding of the nature and potential of Evolutionary Medicine. Some philosophers of science have examined key concepts in the field. Others have debated its potential to inform medical practice, or to transform our understanding of health and disease. These debates will be explored and advanced at the Winter School. The Winter School will explore historical perspectives on science and medicine from both HPS scholars and leading practitioners. The overall aims of the Winter School are to encourage and enable philosophical and methodological commentary on Evolutionary Medicine, and to develop an agenda for research on Evolutionary Medicine by historians of science and medicine.

    The Winter School will be of interest to early career researchers (ECRs) in history and philosophy of science, as well as to ECRs in medicine and biomedical science seeking a broader perspective on Evolutionary Medicine.

    Confirmed instructors:

    • Randolph M. Nesse (Arizona State University)
    • Tatjana Buklijas (University of Auckland)
    • Paul Griffiths (The University of Sydney)
    • Dominic Murphy (The University of Sydney)
    • Djuke Veldhuis (Monash University)

    All successful applicants to attend the Winter School will recieve free accommodation and meals for the duration of the event. Limited funding is available for one or more suitable candidates from lower income countries to help support travel to Sydney, but it is expected that all candidates will seek travel funding from their home institution.

    Applications should be sent to and should consist of a CV\ and a cover letter of no more than 1000 words (including any references) that (1) summarises the applicants current research and/or practice and (2) explains how attending the Winter School will advance the applicants research and/or practice.

    Closing date for applications : Monday March 30th 2020 by 09.00 AEDT (UTC + 11hrs).

    Please distribute this announcement to others. For all enquiries please email

  • 19 Feb 2020 12:48 PM | Randolph Nesse (Administrator)

    Jon Laman recommended a wonderful new article in Nature Reviews Immunology "Osteoimmunology: evolving concepts in bone–immune interactions in health and disease" by Masayuki Tsukasaki & Hiroshi Takayanagi. Alas, not open access.


    Abstract: In terrestrial vertebrates, bone tissue constitutes the ‘osteoimmune’ system, which functions as a locomotor organ and a mineral reservoir as well as a primary lymphoid organ where haematopoietic stem cells are maintained. Bone and mineral metabolism is maintained by the balanced action of bone cells such as osteoclasts, osteoblasts and osteocytes, yet subverted by aberrant and/or prolonged immune responses under pathological conditions. However, osteoimmune interactions are not restricted to the unidirectional effect of the immune system on bone metabolism. In recent years, we have witnessed the discovery of effects of bone cells on immune regulation, including the function of osteoprogenitor cells in haematopoietic stem cell regulation and osteoblast-mediated suppression of haematopoietic malignancies. Moreover, the dynamic reciprocal interactions between bone and malignancies in remote organs have attracted attention, extending the horizon of osteoimmunology. Here, we discuss emerging concepts in the osteoimmune dialogue in health and disease.

  • 10 Feb 2020 12:02 PM | Randolph Nesse (Administrator)

    EvMedEd: A Teaching Resource for Integrating Medical Examples into Evolution Education

    Daniel Z. GrunspanRandolph M. NesseSara E. Brownell

    The American Biology TeacherVol. 82 No. 2, February 2020; (pp. 123-126) DOI: 10.1525/abt.2020.82.2.123

    ABSTRACT Teaching evolution using medical examples can be a particularly effective strategy for motivating students to learn evolutionary principles, especially students interested in pursuing medical and allied health careers. Research in the area of evolutionary medicine has expanded the number of ways in which evolution informs health and disease, providing many new and less widely known contexts that can be adopted for classroom use. However, many instructors do not have time to locate or create classroom materials about evolutionary medicine. To address this need, we have created EvMedEd, a resource repository to help instructors who want to integrate more medical examples into their evolution instruction or instructors who are teaching a course on evolutionary medicine. Some resources are designed to be more appropriate for a high school or introductory biology audience, whereas others are more advanced. We encourage instructors to access this curated website and to share their own teaching materials with this community. Key Words: evolution; health; medicine; evolutionary medicine; online resource; student-centered.

  • 10 Feb 2020 10:52 AM | Randolph Nesse (Administrator)

    A major new open access paper in today’s Nature describes the evolutionary history of somatic mutations that result in cancer. It confirms the primary role of driver mutations and that these often occur early in development, just as Steve Frank predicted in his 2007 book Dynamics of Cancer. Later mutations are much more likely to be divergent.

    Abstract: Cancer develops through a process of somatic evolution1,2. Sequencing data from a single biopsy represent a snapshot of this process that can reveal the timing of specific genomic aberrations and the changing influence of mutational processes3. Here, by whole-genome sequencing analysis of 2,658 cancers as part of the Pan-Cancer Analysis of Whole Genomes (PCAWG) Consortium of the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) and The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA)4, we reconstruct the life history and evolution of mutational processes and driver mutation sequences of 38 types of cancer. Early oncogenesis is characterized by mutations in a constrained set of driver genes, and specific copy number gains, such as trisomy 7 in glioblastoma and isochromosome 17q in medulloblastoma. The mutational spectrum changes significantly throughout tumour evolution in 40% of samples. A nearly fourfold diversification of driver genes and increased genomic instability are features of later stages. Copy number alterations often occur in mitotic crises, and lead to simultaneous gains of chromosomal segments. Timing analyses suggest that driver mutations often precede diagnosis by many years, if not decades. Together, these results determine the evolutionary trajectories of cancer, and highlight opportunities for early cancer detection.

  • 10 Feb 2020 10:43 AM | Randolph Nesse (Administrator)

    The Sixth Annual ISEMPH meeting will again cover the full breadth of evolution, medicine and public health. In addition the location and hosts make it possible to provide  will be special foci on One Health, Zoobiquity, and veterinary medicine. See the program page for all the updates.  Register now to get the lowest rates. 

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