Female Pathologies
Across the Tree of Life

Female Pathologies Across the Tree of Life

For this project, we collaborated with a professor with dual appointments at UCLA and Harvard to to gain insight on the prevalence of female pathologies across taxa. We performed a systematic, in-depth literature search of articles using PubMed, Web of Science, veterinary databases, and Google Scholar, scanning returned articles in English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, to provide a complete picture of shared female pathologies across the tree of life. To visualize the resulting data, we created an annotated phylogeny to document all instances of i) mammary carcinoma and endometrial and/or uterine pathologies in all mammalian families and ii) ovarian pathologies (i.e., ovarian carcinoma, polycystic ovaries, and other ovarian pathologies) in all chordate orders. Our findings highlight the alarming frequency with which female pathologies occur across taxa and could provide a roadmap for an improved understanding of female health challenges in humans, shared vulnerabilities across the tree of life, and potential evolved adaptations in non-human animals.

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