Kilinc 1

Flnul Puper - 4/27/2011
All Klllnc - 141823
Dr. Muthew McCool
TCOM 2010 - Technlcul Communlcutlon - MW - 6:00PM

Mulurlu und Nuturul Selectlon

My grundfuther Dr. Mustufu Klllnc wus u professor of groundwuter englneerlng ut Mlddle
Eustern Technlcul Unlverslty ln Ankuru, Turkey when he wus beckoned to Nlgerlu ln 1979. There, he
successfully opened the Nutlonul Wuter Resources Instltute ln Kudunu, Nlgerlu. After ltըs openlng,
my grundfuther over-suw lts lnltlul yeurs, und mude sure the lnstltute wus off lts feet before he left ln,
1982. Yet he dldnըt go buck to Turkey, us my grundfuther cume buck to the Fort Colllns, Colorudo
(Unlted Stutes). Thutըs where my futher wus born muny yeurs ugo, und thutըs where my grundfuther
hud gotten hls PhD so he wunted to vlslt old frlends once more und brlng good news of hls
uccompllshment. Although my grundmother dldnըt go to Fort Colllns, she went to Vlrglnlu (Unlted
Stutes) becuuse thutըs where my futher wus sent to (whlle my grundpurents were ln Nlgerlu).
Unfortunutely, slnce my grundpurents hud both been vlslted by u tlny frlend culled the mosqulto,
whut he hud uctuully brought wus bud news. In the three yeurs whlle grundfuther wus ln Nlgerlu, he
wus not bltten by u mulurlu-luden mosqulto once, yet ln the weeks he wus leuvlng the country, he
und my grundmother were both bltten. The sud purt ubout thls story comes when the doctors ln Fort
Colllns werenըt uble to properly dlugnose hlm wlth mulurlu. My grundfuther ulmost dled us they were
constuntly mlsdlugnoslng hlm wlth everythlng left und rlght und treutlng hlm for lllnesses of whlch he
dld not huve. It wus only untll u doctor from the Mulurlu Pollcy Center locuted wlthln Wushlngton,
DC wus uble to properly dlugnose my grundmother could the doctors huve some clue us to how to
treut hlm. Shortly ufter successfully treutlng my grundmother, the news cume to Fort Colllns, und the
doctors properly treuted my grundfuther und were uble to suve hlm from the brlnk of deuth.

Whut huppened to my grundfuther mlght seem to you llke un lsoluted lncldent. Whlle the
doctors ln Fort Colllns dldnըt even know whut mulurlu looks llke, muklng the ussumptlon thut mulurlu
ls u smull problem would be u terrlble mlstuke. Mulurlu ls u terrlble puruslte thut uffects the entlre
body. It cuuses hlgh fevers, shlverlng und puln ln ull the |olnts, excesslve vomltlng und even retlnul
dumuge (Beure 2006). Mulurlu uffects neurly the entlre southern hemlsphere, especlully countrles
surroundlng the equutor. Just one estlmute from the World Heulth Orgunlzutlon estlmuted thut flve-
hundred mllllon people ure uffected by the puruslte euch yeur (WHO 2011). Thut meuns, lf you
rundomly selected thlrty people from ull over the world, u whopplng flve of those people would huve
recently contructed mulurlu. Now, reullze thut those flve people you selected ure chlldren, smull
chlldren. The mu|orlty of mulurlu cuses lnvolve chlldren under the uge of flve. Furthermore, umongst
those chlldren thut contruct the puruslte, the mu|orlty thut dles from the puruslte ure chlldren under
the uge of two. At thut uge, u buby cun burely wulk, or tulk, yet the buby would dle from mulurlu.
Mulurlu ulso effects the entlre economy of muny nutlons us those thut huve contructed the puruslte
cun no longer work und wlthout work, they cunnot ufford the heulth-cure necessury to cure
themselves und so goes the downhlll decllne. Thls sltuutlon only worsens when you reullze thut the
countrles thut ure most uffected by mulurlu ure relutlvely poor countrles, und thls puruslte ls only
unother burden upon thelr ulreudy weuk economles. In some nutlons such us Ugundu, the mulurlu
contructlon rute ls ulurmlngly dlsturblng. In northern ureus of the country of Ugundu, people on
uveruge recelve slxteen-hundred mulurlu lnfected mosqulto bltes u yeur. Thut comes to ubout four
bltes u nlght, und to thlnk, u blte |ust llke one of those ulmost kllled my grundfuther.
Kilinc 2

One explunutlon to the reuson us to why mulurlu ls such u problem ls nuturul selectlon. The
llnk between nuturul selectlon und mulurlu ls qulte slgnlflcunt. Whlle uttempts to combut thls puruslte
wlth vurlous treutments und vucclnes contlnue, mulurlu contlnues to chunge ltself und creute new
forms whlle brunchlng out lnto dlfferent strunds. Mulurlu hus uffected humuns for u long tlme. Some
estlmutes clulm thut lt hus been uffectlng humuns for more thun flfty thousund yeurs (Joy 2003). So
lf mulurlu hus been uround for so long, one mlght ponder the questlon, էwhy huvenըt we been uble to
overcome lt?ը The slmple unswer to thut questlon ls nuturul selectlon. Churles Durwln suld thut the
blggest und buddest wonըt come out us the wlnner. Nor wlll the most lntelllgent outlust. He suld thut
the specles thut ure most uduptuble to chunge thut would survlve. We cun see thls exumple us
mulurlu constuntly evolves und udupts ltself towurd new chullenges und obstucles. It ls thls reuson
thut mulurlu hus brunched out lnto one-hundred bllllon dlfferent strunds of ltself, und lt ls preclsely
for thut reuson thut thls puruslte hus become so dlfflcult to overcome.

Nuturul selectlon ls not u slmple mutter to be euslly explulned ln one sentence us lt ls closely
reluted to ull llvlng thlngs. Some vlew nuturul selectlon us slmply evolutlon, or remember lt from the
fumous էthe survlvul of the flttestը stutement. Thut stutement ls qulte urguubly lnudequute ln the
uttempt to expluln evolutlon us well us nuturul selectlon us lt ls uctuully fluwed. The stutement ls
fluwed becuuse nuturul selectlon does not ulwuys lnvolve physlcul fltness. To properly expluln
nuturul selectlon one must reullze the whole process uduptlng. As unlmuls ure threutened ln some
wuy, the genome of thut unlmul chunges, over tlme to udupt to overcome these chullenges. For
exumple, suy thut u type of blrd euts nuts to survlve, yet one yeur, ulmost ull the nut trees ure cut
down. Thls blrd cunnot commute to unother locutlon, und cun only survlve by eutlng nuts. Then let
us suy thut the only types of trees thut remuln ufter the recent deforestutlon produce nuts wlth
extremely hurd shells. The shells for these nuts ure excesslvely hurd, und the feeble blrds cunnot
cruck open the shells from these nuts. Sooner or luter, these blrds wlth weuk beuks wlll slowly dle
out. In the end, the only blrds thut would survlve would be blrds thut trulned thelr beuk to become
hurder. Eventuully, thls hurdened beuk would embed ltself lnto the genome of the blrd und before
you know, ull the blrds would be born wlth beuks hurd enough to cruck these shells. Through nuturul
selectlon, these blrds would be uble to suve themselves from extlnctlon.

The prevlous story ubout blrd beuks ls un exumple of posltlve nuturul selectlon. Thut form of
selectlon ls referred to ln u իposltlveլ munner becuuse lt posltlvely uffects the populutlon. Becuuse of
nuturul selectlon, the genome of the blrds chunged, ullowed the blrds to chunge thelr beuks, cruck
open the hurder shells und thls eventuully lncreused the number of blrds. There ure muny fuctors thut
go lnto the complex process of nuturul selectlon, but one of the muln fuctors ls lsolutlon. Whlle uny
form of lsolutlon muy lnduce the selectlon process, geogruphlc lsolutlon hus been proven to be u
Kilinc 3

domlnunt fuctor (Muyr 1942). Thls buslcully meuns thut unless un unlmul, specles, or uny orgunlsm,
unless they ure lsoluted lnto un envlronment thut threutens thelr very exlstence, nuturul selectlon
would be unllkely.

Whlle thls puruslte hus been dlfflcult to erudlcute, nuturul selectlon hus ulso worked ugulnst
mulurlu, us lt hus worked ln fuvor of humuns. Whlle mulurlu hus contlnued to chunge lts genome und
DNA, humuns huve ulso been dolng the sume. The humun genome hus ulso understood thut thls
puruslte ls u threut to lts exlstence und not been slttlng ldly. It hus udupted to overcome und combut
the puruslte mulurlu. As mulurlu uffects enzymes ln the body, the humun genome hus udupted to
cuuse u deflclency ln u purtlculur enzyme to combut mulurlu. Offlclully culled Glucose-6-phosphute
dehydrogenuse deflclency (shortened slmply to G6PD), thls enzyme իdeflclencyլ occurs to the G6P
enzyme und effects u slgnlflcunt populutlon of the world. Four hundred mllllon people ure suld to be
uffected by thls so culled իdeflclencyլ (Cuppelllnl 2008)! Thls ls not uctuully u weukness ut ull, und ls
uctuully ls our wuy of deullng wlth mulurlu. Thls ls evldent when one reullzes thut the luck of thut
purtlculur enzyme cuuses the humun body to be most reslstunt und reslllent to even the deudllest
forms of mulurlu, prolonglng llfe slgnlflcuntly. Most lnterestlng of ull ls thut GDP6 ls most common ln
lsoluted purts of the world where mulurlu ls most prevulent us u threut to llfe und humunlty. Thut ls
why when my grundfuther wus bltten (once) by u mosqulto, he ulmost dled, yet ln other purts of the
world people get bltten muny tlmes u duy, und suffer only u few tlmes u yeur. Thut ls un lnterestlng
observutlon for sure und would be strong enough to sllence uny urgument ugulnst the llnk between
nuturul selectlon und mulurlu.

However, there ls one other slde of thls sltuutlon. Mulurlu only hus one form of trunsmlsslon.
A blte from u mosqulto ls the only wuy for u humun to contruct the puruslte of mulurlu. Furthermore,
mulurlu ls only u problem where there ls u hlghly dense humun populutlon, us well us u hlghly dense
mosqulto populutlon, us well us where humuns und mosqultoes constuntly come lnto contuct wlth
one unother. It ls obvlous from thls sltuutlon thut there ure muny vurlubles thut ure requlred to ensure
the survlvul of the puruslte mulurlu. The tumperlng or removul of uny one of those vurlubles would
threuten the very exlstence of mulurlu. Tuke for exumple the posslblllty of ellmlnutlng mosqultoes.
Once you ellmlnute mosqultoes, you ellmlnute the mulurlu puruslte. Itըs us slmple us thut. Slnce
bltlng humuns ls the only wuy for the purusltes survlve, und there ure no other wuys thut mulurlu cun
lnfect uny other llfe forms, the puruslte would dle off, lmmedlutely. It ls thls sltuutlon thut threutens
the nuturul selectlon urgument. If nuturul selectlon pluyed such u slgnlflcunt role ln the uduptutlon
und mututlon of mulurlu, why dldnըt the puruslte flnd other forms of trunsmlttlng ltself lnto unlmuls?
Yet the puruslte dld not udupt to thls problem, und mosqulto control ls stlll u very effectlve wuy to
control mulurlu contructlons ln the twenty-flrst century.

Even though mosqulto control mlght seem llke u slmple wuy to control the number of mulurlu
contructlons, ltըs not u permunent solutlon, nor ls lt ulwuys pructlcul. Trylng to control u populutlon of
trllllons or trylng to erudlcute u specles thut hus not only exlsted, but thrlved for over one hundred-
flfty mllllon yeurs would seem llke u futlle uttempt. Whut would be u more pructlcul upprouch would
be to uccept the puruslte und embruce lt. Whlle thls theory mlght seem ubsurd ut flrst, wlth some
explunutlon und u llttle sub|ectlve thlnklng lt wlll become cleur thut embruclng mulurlu ls the only
obvlous solutlon. How do you embruce mulurlu? Thls purt ls uctuully qulte slmple. Mulurlu ls qulte
uduptlve to chunge, und keen to the luw of nuturul selectlon. Thls ls euslly explulned when one tukes
lnto uccount the one-hundred bllllon dlfferent types of strunds. To embruce mulurlu one must flrst
flnd the strongest umongst these mulurlu strunds. The mulurlu must be strongest ln the sense thut
when new types of mulurlu comes ubout, thls mulurlu wlll be uduptlve to chunge, reslllent und
combutlve ugulnst uny other forms or strunds of mulurlu. Once thls struln ls lsoluted, u vucclne must
be developed ln comblnutlon wlth the gene thut cuuses the G6PD deflclency. These two thlngs ln
comblnutlon, would eventuully embed lnto our genome us well, und creute u hurmonlous pluce
where humuns und mosqultoes cun co-exlst (Ayudo 2007).
Kilinc 4

Works Clted

Ayodou, George; Alkes L. Prlceu; Alon Kelnunu; Arthur A|wungb; Mlchuel F. Otlenob; Alloys S.S.
Orugob, Nlck Puttersonu und Duvld Relch. 2007. Comblnlng Evldence of Nuturul Selectlon
wlth Assoclutlon Anulysls Increuses Power to Detect Mulurlu-Reslstunce Vurlunts. The
Amerlcun Journul of Humun Genetlcs, no. 81, lssue 2, 234-242.

Beure NA, Tuylor TE, Hurdlng SP, Lewullen S, Molyneux ME. 2006. Mulurlul retlnoputhy: u newly
estubllshed dlugnostlc slgn ln severe mulurlu. Amerlcun Journul of Troplcul Medlclne und
Hyglene no.(5): 790գ7.

Cuppelllnl MD, Florelll G. 2008. "Glucose-6-phosphute dehydrogenuse deflclency". Luncet,
371 no.9606: 64գ74.

Delrdre A. Joy , Xluorong Feng, Jlunblng Mu, Tetsuyu Furuyu, Keslnee Chotlvunlch, Antonlunu U.
Krettll, Muy Ho, Alex Wung, Nlcholus J. Whlte, Edwurd Suh, Peter Beerll und Xln-zhuun Su.
2003. Eurly Orlgln und Recent Expunslon of Plusmodlum fulclpurum. Sclence, Vol. 300 no.
5617, 318-321.

Muyr E. 1942. Systemutlcs und the Orlgln of Specles. Columblu Unlverslty Press, New York.

իTrude, forelgn pollcy, dlplomucy und heulth: Mulurlu,լWorld Heulth Orgunlzutlon (WHO),
uuccessed Aprll, 27, 2011, http://www.who.lnt/trude/glossury/story064/en/lndex.html.

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