Joe Alcock

Joe Alcock
University of New Mexico | UNM · Department of Emergency Medicine

MD, MSCR

About

60
Publications
9,668
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
1,063
Citations
Introduction
I am studying how gut microbiota may impact unhealthy eating behavior and disordered sleep. This research has two main goals. One goal is to harness taste and satiety-regulating microbes in the oro-gastrointestinal microbiota in order to promote healthy eating behaviors and prevent obesity. The second goal is to understand the interaction between gut microbiota and circadian rhythm in order to protect shift workers from the harms associated with sleep loss and shift work.
Additional affiliations
September 2013 - June 2016
University of New Mexico
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
August 2008 - present
University of New Mexico
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Description
  • Evolutionary Medicine

Publications

Publications (60)
Article
Full-text available
Diet has been known to play an important role in human health since at least the time period of the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates. In the last decade, research has revealed that microorganisms inhabiting the digestive tract, known as the gut microbiota, are critical factors in human health. This paper draws on concepts of cooperation and conf...
Article
Full-text available
Many dietary fatty acids (FA) have potent effects on inflammation, which is not only energetically costly, but also contributes to a range of chronic diseases. This presents an evolutionary paradox: Why should the host initiate a costly and damaging response to commonly encountered nutrients? We propose that the immune system has evolved a capacity...
Article
Full-text available
Microbes in the gastrointestinal tract are under selective pressure to manipulate host eating behavior to increase their fitness, sometimes at the expense of host fitness. Microbes may do this through two potential strategies: (i) generating cravings for foods that they specialize on or foods that suppress their competitors, or (ii) inducing dyspho...
Article
Full-text available
Medical students have much to gain by understanding how evolutionary principles affect human health and disease. Many theoretical and experimental studies have applied lessons from evolutionary biology to issues of critical importance to medical science. A firm grasp of evolution and natural selection is required to understand why the human body re...
Article
Full-text available
Background The goal of these analyses was to determine whether there were systematic differences in Emergency Severity Index (ESI) scores, which are intended to determine priority of treatment and anticipate resource needs, across categories of race and ethnicity, after accounting for patient-presenting vital signs and examiner characteristics, and...
Article
Desulfovibriospp. Is a commensal sulfate reducing bacterium that is present in small numbers in the gastrointestinal tract. Increased concentrations of Desulfovibriospp. (blooms) have been reported in patients with inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome. Since stress has been reported to exacerbate symptoms of these chronic disease...
Article
Background: Physical activity (PA) mitigated psychological distress during the initial weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, yet not much is known about whether PA had effects on stress in subsequent months. We examined the relationship between change over time in COVID-related stress and self-reported change in PA between March and July 2020. Methods:...
Article
During hominin history, innovations such as cooking have made a wider selection of dietary sources of energy accessible. In recent times, cooking has moved from the home kitchen to the factory with the diet of many people dominated by commercially prepared foods that are often high in fat and low in fiber content. Cooking has also introduced a vari...
Preprint
Full-text available
Despite continued transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and sustained recommendations to wear protective face coverings, many people remained reluctant to comply throughout the early months of the pandemic. In the present study we surveyed an international cohort of participants on three different occasions from July to August, 2020 (N = 695) to examine the r...
Preprint
Full-text available
What explains differences in attitudes towards wearing protective face masks to limit the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus? We investigated potential drivers of attitudes about mask wearing as part of a longitudinal study during the COVID-19 pandemic (N-participants = 711, N-countries = 36), focusing on people’s perceptions and feelings about seeing...
Article
Full-text available
For decades, bacteriophage purification has followed structured protocols focused on generating high concentrations of phage in manageable volumes. As research moves toward understanding complex phage populations, purification needs have shifted to maximize the amount of phage while maintaining diversity and activity. The effects of standard phage...
Article
Full-text available
Since the identification of severe illness caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the role of the host immune system in causing disease has attracted widespread attention, along with intense interest in medical interventions that target the host immune response. A wide variety of agents have been proposed to treat a cytokine storm in coronavir...
Article
Full-text available
Lay summary: High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) is a potentially fatal disease of altitude, in which the lungs can become filled with fluid. In this article we explore the mechanisms causing this condition and how it can be viewed as a condition of a mismatch between current environment and evolutionary experience.
Preprint
Full-text available
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, wearing protective facial masks has become a divisive issue, yet little is known about what drives differences in mask wearing across individuals. We surveyed 711 people around the world, asking about mask wearing and several other variables. We found that people who reported greater perceived risk of i...
Article
Full-text available
Although fever is one of the main presenting symptoms of COVID-19 infection, little public attention has been given to fever as an evolved defense. Fever, the regulated increase in the body temperature, is part of the evolved systemic reaction to infection known as the acute phase response. The heat of fever augments the performance of immune cells...
Article
Full-text available
Several recent studies have provided evidence that use of calcium channel blockers, especially amlodipine and nifedipine, can reduce mortality from Covid-19. Moreover, hypocalcemia (a reduced level of serum ionized calcium) has been shown to be strongly positively associated with Covid-19 severity. Both effectiveness of CCBs as antiviral therapy, a...
Article
Full-text available
Humans and viruses have been coevolving for millennia. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19) has been particularly successful in evading our evolved defenses. The outcome has been tragic—across the globe, millions have been sickened and hundreds of thousands have died. Moreover, the quarantine...
Preprint
Full-text available
Do crises bring people together or pull them apart? Here we examine how people’s willingness to help others and their perceived interdependence with others changed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and assess what factors are associated with any change. We collected data at 4 time points from the same cohort of 497 paid participants, starting on March...
Article
Full-text available
Kombucha, a fermented tea beverage with an acidic and effervescent taste, is composed of a multispecies microbial ecosystem with complex interactions that are characterized by both cooperation and conflict. In kombucha, a complex community of bacteria and yeast initiates the fermentation of a starter tea (usually black or green tea with sugar), pro...
Article
Full-text available
The core conception of sepsis-that it is a dysregulated state-is a powerful and durable idea that has inspired decades of research. But is it true that the body's response to sepsis is dysregulated? To answer that question, this review surveyed the history of trials of experimental sepsis treatments targeting the host response. Sepsis survival is n...
Preprint
For decades, sepsis research has been motivated by the idea of a dangerous overreaction of the immune system in sepsis. But is it true that the response to sepsis is dysregulated? This review surveys the history of sepsis trials and found that evidence for dysregulation does not exist in many of the physiologic mechanisms of sepsis. It is time to c...
Article
Full-text available
Some acts of human cooperation are not easily explained by traditional models of kinship or reciprocity. Fitness interdependence may provide a unifying conceptual framework, in which cooperation arises from the mutual dependence for survival or reproduction, as occurs among mates, risk-pooling partnerships and brothers-in-arms.
Preprint
Full-text available
Kombucha is a sweetened tea fermented by bacteria and yeast into a carbonated, acidic drink, producing a surface biofilm pellicle (colloquially called a SCOBY) during the process. Typically, liquid and a biofilm pellicle from a previously fermented culture is used as a starter for new cultures; however, there is no standard protocol for growing kom...
Article
Full-text available
The goals of this study were to compare whether emergency department (ED) patients' pain intensity (PI) is measured differently by male and female nurses and to determine whether PI, heart rate (HR), and respiratory rate (RR) were used to prioritize patient urgency differently by male and female nurses. The associations between patients' PI|HR|RR a...
Article
Full-text available
The current study examines how subjective pain reporting is influenced by the concordant and discordant nature of the ethnic identities of pain expressers (participants) and pain assessors (experimenters). Three discomfort conditions that varied in stimuli intensity (Study 1: mild pain; Study 2: severe pain), and distraction components (Study 3) we...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Premastication, the transfer of pre-chewed food, is a common infant and young child feeding practice among the Tsimane, forager-horticulturalists living in the Bolivian Amazon. Research conducted primarily with Western populations has shown that infants harbor distinct oral microbiota from their mothers. Premastication, which is less c...
Data
Rarefaction of 16S rRNA gene sequences of 24 saliva and two premasticated food samples
Data
Change of phylogenetic distance between mothers and infants Average dissimilarity distances between each infant and all mothers are negatively correlated with infant age, r = 0.64, p = 0.025. Average dissimilarity distances between a mother and all infants are not correlated with maternal age, r = − 0.33, p = 0.293.
Data
Average relative abundance of 15 genera previously linked to gingivitis Graph depicts values in log scale (log10(x) + 10). Asterisks denote significant differences in abundance between maternal and infant samples (∗p < 0.05, ∗∗p < 0.01).
Article
Full-text available
Ethnic minority patients receive lower priority triage assignments in Veteran's Affairs (VA) emergency departments (EDs) compared to White patients, but it is currently unknown whether this disparity arises from generalized biases across the triage assessment process or from differences in how objective and/or subjective institution-level or person...
Article
OBJECTIVES: Aiming to test the evolutionary significance of relationships linking prenatal growth conditions to adult phenotypes, this study examined whether birth size predicts energetic savings during fasting. We specifically tested a Predictive Adaptive Response model that predicts greater energetic saving among adults who were born small. METH...
Article
Full-text available
A high-fat diet and elevated levels of free fatty acids are known risk factors for metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, and visceral obesity. Although these disease associations are well established, it is unclear how different dietary fats change the risk of insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome. Here, we review emerging evidence that insul...
Article
Full-text available
Background Experimental research shows that laywomen express higher levels of empathy than men to pain suffering behaviors in others and female practitioners interact with and may prescribe different levels of pain medication to patients than male practitioners. Objectives In this study we conduct a small medical records review to examine the poss...
Article
Full-text available
Article
Full-text available
Mixed associations have been observed between various aspects of ‘social support’ and patient pain experiences OBJECTIVE: To explore the possibility that more basic social factors, namely coresidence patterns, may be associated with variability in patient pain experiences. METHODS: Relationships between coresidence partners and self-reported pain t...
Article
Full-text available
Experimental and clinical pain studies are conflicting regarding whether individuals report heightened or dampened pain sensitivity in the presence of other men or women. In the present preliminary study, two small medical record reviews of patients admitted for emergency care were conducted to examine the possibility that patients may report diffe...
Article
Full-text available
There is no standardized method for cold pressor pain tasks across experiments. Temperature, apparatus and aspects of experimenters vary widely among studies. It is well known that experimental pain tolerance is influenced by setting as well as the sex of the experimenter. It is not known whether other contextual factors influence experimental pain...
Article
Full-text available
Background Dyspnea is among the most common reasons for emergency department (ED) visits by patients with cardiopulmonary disease who are commonly asked to recall the symptoms that prompted them to come to the ED. The reliability of recalled dyspnea has not been systematically investigated in ED patients. Methods Patients with chronic or acute car...
Data
Table A1. Principal components analysis with varimax rotation for MDP recall ratings. Table A2 Percentiles of within-subjects differences.
Article
Full-text available
The acutephase response (APR) is a systemic response to severe trauma, infection, and cancer, although many of the numerous cytokine-mediated components of the APR are incompletely understood. Some of these components, such as fever, reduced availability of iron and zinc, and nutritional restriction due to anorexia, appear to be stressors capable o...
Article
Full-text available
Background. Evolutionary medicine, the intersection of evolutionary biology and medical sciences, has grown in the last two decades. However, this new scientific discipline continues to have a limited impact in clinical medicine and medical education. As this field undergoes its own evolution, it has become necessary to better define this area of s...
Article
Full-text available
The trillions of cells that make up the human gut micro-biota are a double-edged sword, often protecting the hostfrom serious infection, but capable of causing lethalinflammation and overwhelming sepsis. This Janus-facedcharacteristic of the gut microbiota resembles the immunesystem itself, a powerful defense that can turn on its host.Altered gut mi...
Article
Decompression sickness causes injury and death in SCUBA divers when air bubbles obstruct the flow of blood. Platelets aggregate in response to gas and promote inflammation. Inflammation in decompression sickness may have its origin in the innate immune system's response to pathogens. Bubbles are often found in tissues during gas-forming infections...
Article
Transporting clean drinking water in an easily accessible container is a priority for many outdoor enthusiasts. Two basic hydration systems are commonly used to provide water: the water bottle and the hydration bladder. The authors tested the hypothesis that there were different levels of microbiologic contamination between these 2 systems. Sixty-s...
Article
Tissue damage mediated by innate immune cells in reperfusion injury may have a survival benefit in infections, preventing sepsis. Tissue damage by leukocytes - plugging of small vessels, endothelial cell damage, tissue edema around vessels, and stimulation of platelet aggregation - occurs in both reperfusion injury and infection-prone wounds. These...
Article
Wilderness medicine courses tend to teach similar topics, but they can differ with respect to philosophy, teaching methods, and financing. Our not-for-profit course is academically based and is similar to other programs with regard to presentations of didactic material and outdoor training, but there are also important differences in teaching metho...
Article
previous research has been inconclusive about the nature of hemispheric asymmetry in emotional processing. 13 patients with DSM-IV bipolar disorder received repeated QEEGs over 2 years in different mood states. Z-score measures of asymmetry were assessed. asymmetry in frontotemporal slow-wave activity appeared to be in opposite directions in depres...
Article
Background: previous research has been inconclusive about the nature of hemispheric asymmetry in emotional processing. Method: 13 patients with DSM-IV bipolar disorder received repeated QEEGs over 2 years in different mood states. Z-score measures of asymmetry were assessed. Results: asymmetry in frontotemporal slow-wave activity appeared to be in...
Article
The social control hypothesis assumes like-vs-like aggression between dominants and suggests that cheating is prevented by an increase in the number of interactions that cheaters encounter with legitimately dominant birds. To test this hypothesis, like-vs-like aggression was assessed in sparrows. Contrary to the social control hypothesis, there was...

Network

Cited By