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Global Perspectives on Human Biology and Health

Global environmental variation produces variation in human biology around the world

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February 17, 2014 | by Hilary Hurd Anyaso

CHICAGO --- Three anthropology professors from the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University highlighted recent research in biological anthropology Sunday, Feb. 16 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Chicago.

The presentations were part of the symposium “Comparative Advantage: Global Perspectives on Human Biology and Health.”

Christopher Kuzawa, professor of anthropology and faculty fellow at the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern, presented “You Are What Your Mother Ate: How Our Ancestors’ Diets Shape Our Health.”

William Leonard, chair and the Abraham Harris Professor of Anthropology at Northwestern, presented “The Metabolic Imperative: Evolutionary Perspectives on Human Energy Dynamics.”

Thomas McDade, professor of anthropology, faculty fellow at the Institute for Policy Research and director of the Laboratory for Human Biology Research at Northwestern, presented “Is Chronic Inflammation a Disease of Affluence? Insights from Asia and Amazonia.” 

The presentations drew on data collected from field sites in North and South America, Asia, the South Pacific and Africa to generate insights into human immune function, reproductive aging, nutrition and metabolism and chronic disease.