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

Human evolution

I’m an undergraduate biophysics student, so I already have a wide base of information about genetics. And I still found this book enjoyable. It did two things for me:
1) It helped define what is meant by “fittest” in evolution. Corner a geneticist and ask him to define fittest and you’ll get a lot of hand ringing and not much else. Here are some really good examples of what survives and why.
2) Gives clear evidence of human evolution. Talking about human evolution really brings it all home. Understand the pressures that changed different human populations in a really fascinating part of our history.
All of this is done in a way that is entertaining and personal.
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- Dalton

Junk Science

Unfortunately there were no reviews on this book before I downloaded it. I wouldn't waste my money on this one. The author has many theories, and contradicts his own theories throughout the only three chapters I was able to listen to. Download Mountains Beyond Mountains, or Demon Under the Microscope. I will listen to those two books again and again.
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- Tammy

Book Details

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