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Infectious Biology: Curse or Blessing? Reflections on Biology in Other Disciplines, with a Case Study of Migraine

  • Wim J. van der Steen
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Abstract

Biology has come to play important roles in many other disciplines. Some applications of evolutionary thought outside biology are disappointing, but promising approaches are feasible in medicine. Biology has a rich store of valuable knowledge extending to evolution, which is often disregarded in medicine. For example, the role of omega-3 fatty acids in the genesis of disease deserves much more attention. Biomedical research should pay more attention to higher levels of organization and to functional explanation. A case study of migraine illustrates all this. Biology is an infectious discipline in that parts of it are incorporated in many disciplines. But in the process of incorporation it is often distorted by transformations and omissions. Nobody would deny that applications of biology to medicine, for example, often amount to a blessing. At the same time, some distortions of biology may tend to transform blessings into a curse.

Keywords

aura dietary deficiency endothelium evolutionary psychiatry evolutionary psychology evolutionary medicine fatty acid functional explanation level of organization migraine platelet serotonin vasopressin 

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© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wim J. van der Steen
    • 1
  1. 1.AmstelveenThe Netherlands

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