Inflammation is a term that many use, but very few actually understand. Because of its endogenous origin and near universal association with disease, it is tempting to jump to reductionistic conclusions that makes the human body look really dumb. Why is it that the body seems to inflict self-harm in response to inflammatory triggers, how is that related to chronic disease, and what does turtles have to do with this? In this chapter we explore inflammation from an evolutionary-biology perspective, tracing it back more than 500 million years to find out about its ulterior motives.
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