Survival of the Sickest

  • by Sharon Moalem, Jonathan Prince
  • Narrated by Eric Conger
  • 6 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.


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.


What the Critics Say

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


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

An Eye Opener

Ah, evolution at its finest. If you don't like the theory of evolution, this book isn't for you. The author goes out on a limb on most of his theories, but then again, he isn't writing a scientific paper. He finds interesting connections that make the reader consider exactly what it means to be a human being. Eight percent of our genetic code comes from viruses, we all have epigenes that are influenced by our environment, did the 14th century plague affect our genetic heritage, what is the relationship between diabetes and climate change--these are only a few of the interesting things you will find in this book. This is such a good listen, and has so many interesting concepts, I think I will have to buy a hard copy of the book.
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- Maurice


This book is not a rehashing of stale info. It takes an amazingly incitful view of some fundamental issues. The narration is great and the presentation is understandable even to laymen. I highly recommend it.
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- Kenneth

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-24-2007
  • Publisher: HarperAudio