Med students to study dinosaur ailments

Mar 01, 2006

The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine is launching a unique program to teach medical students the evolutionary history of humans and animals.

Partnering with the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, the university says by learning the origins of human disease, such as back pain and cancer -- which existed in Jurassic Age dinosaurs -- students should better understand contemporary public health concerns.

Scientists say there are myriad common medical ailments whose roots can be traced back millions of years, when our human ancestors evolved from walking on all fours to standing on their two hind legs.

Cancer can be dated back even further since Carnegie Museum of Natural History researchers have proof by way of a 150-million-year-old Jurassic dinosaur bone, its tumor still preserved.

Understanding the origins of human diseases could help identify fresh avenues toward their prevention and treatment. At the very least, university officials said, an appreciation of the evolutionary history of humans and other animals should produce better medical doctors and physician-scientists.

The partnership -- the Natural History of Medicine Initiative -- is the first of its kind involving a medical school and natural history museum.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Stuck on you: Research shows fingerprint accuracy stays the same over time

Related Stories

Rewriting the history of the Boaz mastodon

May 27, 2015

Through a combination of modern-day scientific sleuthing, historical detective work, and a plethora of persistence, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have rewritten the story of a celebrated ...

Recommended for you

Study reveals a common beat in global music

15 hours ago

A new study carried out by the University of Exeter and Tokyo University of the Arts has found that songs from around the world tend to share features, including a strong rhythm, that enable coordination ...

When times are tough, parents favor daughters over sons

16 hours ago

In tough economic times, parents financially favor daughters over sons, according to researchers at the Carlson School of Management and Rutgers Business School. Their study, forthcoming in the Journal of ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.