Sunday, November 24, 2013


The word "zoobiquity" isn't in the dictionary, but it will be soon. Zoobiquity is the title of a popular science book by Dr. Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, M.D. and Kathryn Bowers. The term refers to a new species-spanning approach to health and medicine. Dr. Natterson-Horowitz is a cardiologist at the UCLA Medical Center and a cardiac consultant for the Los Angeles Zoo. While working at the zoo, she realized how humans and monkeys suffer from many of the exact same diseases and conditions. She wanted to explore other animal species and see what can be learned from combining veterinary knowledge and human medicine.

The book is packed full of interesting scientific anecdotes. You'll be able to pepper your conversations with amusing and sometimes startling facts. Wallabies can become addicted to opium. Koalas suffer from chlamydia. Dinosaurs got cancer. Humans and other animal species have eating disorders and sexual dysfunction. Adolescents of many species display risky behaviors. While the book is entertaining, it also raises a serious issue about human beings as part of the wider animal kingdom. We could improve our health by viewing the world from a broader perspective. This is especially important as diseases cross species.

Dr. Natterson-Horowitz and Kathryn Bowers spoke at the Tucson Festival Books in March of 2013. You can watch the taped presentation online at BookTV.


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