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This edition: Patterns of Adaptation

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Episode Details

How do humans adapt to environmental challenges? In this lesson, experts explore this question from many angles. The difference between acclimatization and adaptation is explained. Nina Jablonski explains skin-color function and adaptations related to UV radiation levels, the vitamin D hypothesis, and preventing the loss of folate in the body. High-altitude adaptations are also discussed, along with responses to heat and cold stressors. In the last segment, the evolutionary dance between humans and their pathogens is brought to light. The interwoven interactions between human cultural activities, and the evolution of new pathogens, are discussed, as well as the evolution of drug resistance in existing pathogens.