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28 October: Darwin, Microbes and the Increasing Incidence of Chronic Inflammatory Diseases (UNFORTUNATELY DUE TO TECHNICAL PROBLEMS, WE WERE UNABLE TO RECORD THIS LECTURE AND IT WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE TO VIEW ONLINE)

28 September 2007

Professor Graham Rook – UCL Centre for Infectious Diseases & International Health
Man has moved rapidly from the hunter-gatherer environment to the living conditions of the rich industrialised countries. The resulting reduced exposure to certain micro-organisms has led to disordered regulation of the immune system, and contributes to increases in inflammatory diseases. The concept began with the allergic disorders, but has now been extended to autoimmunity, inflammatory bowel disease, atherosclerosis, some cancers, and even some forms of depression. This concept is an important aspect of Darwinian medicine, which uses knowledge of evolution to cast light on human diseases, and point to the potential exploitation of these organisms in novel treatments.

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