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Survival of the Sickest: A Medical Maverick Discovers Why We Need Disease | [Sharon Moalem, Jonathan Prince]

Survival of the Sickest: A Medical Maverick Discovers Why We Need Disease

How did a deadly genetic disease help our ancestors survive the bubonic plagues of Europe? Was diabetes evolution's response to the last Ice Age? Will a visit to the tanning salon help bring down your cholesterol? Why do we age? Why are some people immune to HIV? Can your genes be turned on or off? Survival of the Sickest reveals the answers to these and many other questions as it unravels the amazing connections between evolution, disease, and human health today.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Learn how wearing sun block could raise your cholesterol and diabetes could protect you from extreme cold. Mutation, genetic transmission, and survival of the fittest form the foundation of evolutionary law, and Sharon Moalem explains how certain genetic disease states might promote continued existence. Narrator Eric Conger's brisk pace keeps the facts coming and the interest level high, but he never sounds hurried or mumbles a word. He doesn't break his rhythm with annoying pauses for quoted material or struggle with the plethora of scientific terms. The combination of an excellent narrator and well-informed writers provides information that brings the inquisitive mind up to date on genetics that apply to our everyday lives.

Publisher's Summary

How did a deadly genetic disease help our ancestors survive the bubonic plagues of Europe? Was diabetes evolution's response to the last Ice Age? Will a visit to the tanning salon help bring down your cholesterol? Why do we age? Why are some people immune to HIV? Can your genes be turned on or off?

Survival of the Sickest reveals the answers to these and many other questions as it unravels the amazing connections between evolution, disease, and human health today.

Joining the ranks of modern myth busters, Dr. Sharon Moalem turns our current understanding of illness on its head and challenges us to fundamentally change the way we think about our bodies, our health, and our relationship to just about every other living thing on earth, from plants and animals to insects and bacteria.

Survival of the Sickest is filled with fascinating insights and cutting-edge research, presented in a way that is both accessible and utterly absorbing. This is a book about the interconnectedness of all life on earth and, especially, what that means for us.Listen to it. You're already living it.

©2007 Sharon Moalem; (P)2007 HarperCollins Publishers

What the Critics Say

"A lively and enthusiastic treatise." (Kirkus Reviews)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (274 )
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  •  
    M3 Monterey, CA 09-19-12
    M3 Monterey, CA 09-19-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Outstanding, with Many "Oh REALLY?" Moments"

    For starters, "Sharon" is a he, not a she. And Sharon presents a well researched, logically laid out argument for how evolution sometimes bites us in the butt. In a nutshell, the same genetic characteristics that allowed your forefathers to survive the plague of the dark ages are likely the root cause of some present-day genetic affliction (in this instance, hemochromotisis). It appears that sometimes nature may trade the ability to survive in the short term for the ability to survive in the long term. Moalem points out multiple examples of how genetic evolution can have second and third order effects...and they are not always for the better.

    This is a quick listen that doesn't bore. If I had one complaint, it would be the heavy-handed preaching about evolutionary theory at the beginning of the book, which will undoubtedly grate on the ears of creationists and make them refuse to listen to the REST of the book...which is phenomenal.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tyler Red Deer, AB, Canada 09-04-11
    Tyler Red Deer, AB, Canada 09-04-11 Member Since 2015

    I've been a member here for a few years now. Nothing will ever replace printed books for me, but I do enjoy lots of things Audible has!

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    "A very good, informative introduction."

    This book has been in my physical home library for a few years now but it wasn't until I found the audible version that I actually had the time to go through the entire work. When it comes to scientific literature here on audible.com were very luck to come across a book like this that has a Narrator who doesn't sound like an 80 year old retired university professor.

    Loved the book, i recommend the download as an introduction. I also recommend you follow up this book with some more on basic genetics so you get a better idea of what is going on.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin J Sullivan 05-30-15
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    "Engaging Journey into Human Evolution and Science"

    This book offers an interesting journey into the science of human evolution and disease. It was engaging and easy to follow. Very thought provoking! I enjoyed the narrator's reading of the book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wendy 05-06-15
    Wendy 05-06-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Lots of great biology terms for my students"

    I am assigning this to my AP biology students as z reading option. It has lots of biology terms and shows how many of science theories can be changed as we introduce new findings. By no means is this textbook reading. It is presented in an interesting story based reading that everyone can enjoy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    joanne 01-20-15
    joanne 01-20-15
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    "GREAT!!"

    Mind blowing novel. Really gives you a different view point on life. Not to hard to understand but having some biology knowledge can help you a little more with understanding some points brought up.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elkobri 11-15-14
    Elkobri 11-15-14 Member Since 2013
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    "home run"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would absolutely recommend this audiobook as well as the book in any format. It is intriguing. The authors and narrator manage to convey excitement with provocative questions concerning the evolution of illnesses. This would be a great book for science classes in grammar and high school, etc.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Survival of the Sickest?

    One of the authors' grandfather and how he wondered about his love of giving blood and then connected that experience with his later illnesses.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Imagining the black death and people with hemochromatosis being able to help others. It is like the ugly duckling transformed into a swan.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes and I wanted a digital copy to go back over it. I keep telling people that this is the best kind of science: when the authors take you into the unexpected and yet plausible. They excite the reader as if they were detectives on the hunt for clues to understand mysterious evolutionary riddles.


    Any additional comments?

    Tell the authors to keep writing more along this line.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mebazi 09-09-14
    Mebazi 09-09-14 Member Since 2015

    Health Consultant

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    "I wish this was a series!!!"
    Where does Survival of the Sickest rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Top 3.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Educational, but yet given with a delivery of a story.


    What does Eric Conger bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Passion.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I just couldn't stop listening.


    Any additional comments?

    I searched for a part two 3 different times just in case I might of missed something! Loved this book! Will listen to it a few more times!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Piso Tulsa, OK, United States 07-04-13
    Piso Tulsa, OK, United States 07-04-13
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    "Very informative"
    Any additional comments?

    I really enjoyed this book. Deep enough to make you think, but not too technical for the layperson

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ashley 06-17-13
    Ashley 06-17-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Loved it, loved it, loved it!"
    Would you listen to Survival of the Sickest again? Why?

    Absolutely! Great book!


    Any additional comments?

    I cannot speak highly enough of this book. I could not stop listening. Not only does this book appeal to those who love science, but to those who loves stories and history as well. Learning all about how different events of the past have shaped our lives today- fascinating!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew 09-11-12
    Matthew 09-11-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Random Musical Interludes"
    If you could sum up Survival of the Sickest in three words, what would they be?

    Really, engaging and thought provoking book. Enjoyed it!


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator didn't really detract from the book, but all the random synthesizer music certainly did. Made NO sense what so ever and some went on long enough and were in the middle of an important point that it was tough to remember what the point was.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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