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Zoobiquity: What Animals Can Teach Us About Health and the Science of Healing | [Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, Kathryn Bowers]

Zoobiquity: What Animals Can Teach Us About Health and the Science of Healing

Delving into evolution, anthropology, sociology, biology, veterinary science, and zoology, they break down the walls between disciplines, redefining the boundaries of medicine.Zoobiquity explores how animal and human commonality can be used to diagnose, treat, and heal patients of all species. Both authoritative and accessible, offering cutting-edge research through captivating narratives, this provocative book encourages us to see our essential connection to all living beings
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Publisher's Summary

In the spring of 2005, cardiologist Barbara Natterson-Horowitz was called to consult on an unusual patient: an Emperor tamarin at the Los Angeles Zoo. While examining the tiny monkey's sick heart, she learned that wild animals can die of a form of cardiac arrest brought on by extreme emotional stress. It was a syndrome identical to a human condition but one that veterinarians called by a different name and treated in innovative ways.

This remarkable medical parallel launched Natterson-Horowitz on a journey of discovery that reshaped her entire approach to medicine. She began to search for other connections between the human and animal worlds: Do animals get breast cancer, anxiety-induced fainting spells, sexually transmitted diseases? Do they suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder, bulimia, addiction?

The answers were astonishing. Dinosaurs suffered from brain cancer. Koalas catch chlamydia. Reindeer seek narcotic escape in hallucinogenic mushrooms. Stallions self-mutilate. Gorillas experience clinical depression.

Joining forces with science journalist Kathryn Bowers, Natterson-Horowitz employs fascinating case studies and meticulous scholarship to present a revelatory understanding of what animals can teach us about the human body and mind.

Zoobiquity; is the term the authors have coined to refer to a new, species-spanning approach to health. Delving into evolution, anthropology, sociology, biology, veterinary science, and zoology, they break down the walls between disciplines, redefining the boundaries of medicine.Zoobiquity explores how animal and human commonality can be used to diagnose, treat, and heal patients of all species. Both authoritative and accessible, offering cutting-edge research through captivating narratives, this provocative book encourages us to see our essential connection to all living beings.

©2012 Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, Kathryn Bowers (P)2012 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"If common ancestors with worms, fish, and apes lie in our past, then Zoobiquity points the way to our future. The connections we share with the rest of life on our planet are a source of beauty and, in Natterson-Horowitz and Bowers luminous new account, the inspiration for an emerging and powerful approach to human health.Zoobiquity is a book that explodes barriers and myths all in the purpose of bettering the human condition." (Neil Shubin, paleontologist and author of Your Inner Fish)

"Zoobiquity is full of fascinating stories of intersection between human and nonhuman medicine fish that faint; dinosaur cancers; human treatments that cure dogs of melanoma; lessons from adolescent elephant behavior that explain human teenagers. I was beguiled." (Atul Gawande, M.D.)

"Centered on an insight rich with consequences, this beautifully written book is loaded with fascinating material that makes a compelling case for viewing human health and disease comparatively. We have more to learn from other species than I had ever suspected. Gripping and memorably engaging, it belongs in the hands of anyone with an ounce of curiosity about the biological sources of the human condition." (Stephen Stearns, PhD., Edward P. Bass Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yale University)

"Fascinating reading about the similarities in both the physiology and behavior of people and animals." (Temple Grandin, Ph.D.)

What Members Say

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  •  
    Zack Whitehouse Station, NJ, USA 06-16-12
    Zack Whitehouse Station, NJ, USA 06-16-12 Member Since 2006
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    "Fascinating Book on Human & Animal Medicine"

    This book is incredibly well written and the material it covers is fascinating. Although I was hesitant at first about the main idea of this book (that animal and human medicine could be intimately connected and have a great deal to offer each other), the authors make a persuasive argument and have thoroughly convinced me! The book presents the connection between animals and humans in a very entertaining and often amusing way. All of the claims that the authors put forward are backed up by very reasonable research and examples, which only adds to the value of this book.

    There is definitely a lot of medical jargon, but the authors do an excellent job in explaining any scientific terms that they use. I will be recommending this book to medical students, veterinarians, physicians, pet owners, and anyone interested in medicine. I am sure that they will not be disappointed.

    My only complaint is that the reader mispronounces several words, but otherwise the performance is very good.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jenny12345 United States 09-14-12
    jenny12345 United States 09-14-12
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    "Doesn't offer anything new, doesn't give credit wh"
    What disappointed you about Zoobiquity?

    First off, I must admit that I have not yet finished the book. I'm only on the cancer section, and I'm not sure if I will finish it. Initially I was really excited to find this book (I have the kindle audio edition), because I'm a Laboratory Animal Veterinarian, so I encounter and appreciate comparative medicine on a daily basis. But almost immediately, I was turned off by the author's repetitive and nauseating writing style- overuse of adjectives, subjectivity, egotism, etc. Furthermore, this book so far has NOT offered anything new. I realize that most people may not realize this, because they are not in the field of comparative medicine. And I would have no problem if the author simply chose to present the information in a book that is accessible to the everyday person. The author does do this, but that is not all she does- she claims that she is taking a new, 'zoobiquitous' approach that few people if any have done before. In fact, this is not a new approach at all and is done every day through comparative medicine studies, namely animal research, which the author makes quite clear that she is opposed to. But it becomes obvious that in her opposition to animal research, she has failed to recognize the many benefits that comparative animal research has provided (although she does make reference to research findings, but does not mention that those findings came from animal research).

    The entire book thus far exudes a sense of profoundness- as if the author is crossing uncharted territory. I feel like that is misleading to readers and does not give credit where credit is due- not only to the wildlife and zoo veterinarians, but also to the lab animal veterinarians who strive to uphold animal welfare while also contribute to the advancement of scientific and medical knowledge- in this case advancement that uses animals that have been selected as models of human diseases. The author paints a small picture of animal research as cold, uncaring, and unimportant. She portrays it as a field that uses genetically mutated animals that are completely unlike their natural counterparts. While research does use genetically engineered animals to serve as superior models of human diseases, animal research also uses natural animal models that include not only mice and rats, but dogs, cats, primates, frogs, birds, pigs, gerbils, snakes, horses- the list is endless. Many of her profound conclusions have already been concluded and put into practice in animal research.

    It is true that MDs and DVMs need to work together to achieve a heightened quality of medicine that benefits both people and animals. But the author gives the impression that human and animal doctors are really not working together at all. But in fact, they are working together extensively in the field of research/laboratory animal medicine that the author chose to ignore. Not only does the author not incorporate this field in her writings, she explicitly expresses her distaste for animal research. I believe that in order to truly develop a zoobiquitous approach, you need to have an appreciation and understanding for all areas of scientific and medical advancement.

    The author is correct about one thing though- that many MD's, especially specialists, have a superiority complex, inflated ego, etc. This complex is exemplified in her book.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    By not painting an objective, well-rounded picture


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    anger, frustration, disappointment


    12 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lillian Palm Desert, CA, United States 11-01-12
    Lillian Palm Desert, CA, United States 11-01-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Surprised this is news to anyone"

    As a vet, for me the premise of this book (MDs might have something to learn from vets and animal science? Really?) was one big "DUH!" Yet I listened all the way through and really enjoyed the book, learned quite a bit even if not the same things the author learned in the writing. I enjoy listening to what I think of as "True Science" books, and this book fits the category. It flows well from chapter to chapter and idea to idea, the reader managed most of the science words well and the author maintained a strong theme throughout. Strongly recommended for anyone in a medical field or who just likes comparative science.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    andrew MISSOURI CITY, TX, United States 08-25-13
    andrew MISSOURI CITY, TX, United States 08-25-13
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    "May be interesting for non-sci people, not me..."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Non-sci people looking for info they wouldn't have gotten in bio class. But i felt underwhelmed by the information


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jeanvers Greensboro, NC 10-19-12
    jeanvers Greensboro, NC 10-19-12 Member Since 2009

    jeanvers books & video

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    "Excellent! You won't want to stop listening!!"
    If you could sum up Zoobiquity in three words, what would they be?

    The authors, Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and Kathryn Bowers, did an amazing job of comparing veterinarian medicine to western medicine and proving that veterinarian medicine is just as important as human medicine. I learned a lot about what different disease that animals also get that us humans also get. These woman who came together to write tho book, really prove that much can be learned from using what we know from both types of medicine. Ver interesting to learn about our furry friends who have the same or similar disease and how they are treated. After reading this book, I wish I had a doctor like the Cardiologist in the book who looked into case studies on animals and compared them to human patients with same diseases...this book provides SO MUCH insight that makes a very good case for viewing human medicine and veterinarian medicine as a regular habit for all medical docs and for vets. Definitely an amazing book book which is absolutely loaded with fascinating material that makes a compelling case for viewing human health and animal disease comparatively. We have SO SO much to learn from other species than I had ever thought of. If you are just looking for an interesting book that is chalked with interesting science and about medicine this is great listening material!!! ENJOY!!!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Zoobiquity?

    The beginning of the story on how she got started on this path!


    What about Karen White’s performance did you like?

    She has a great voice that just compliments this great book.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Zoobiquity!


    Any additional comments?

    I think this is a must read for anyone interested in medicine! Or if you just love great non-fiction books that are packed w

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eleanor Natick, MA, United States 06-25-13
    Eleanor Natick, MA, United States 06-25-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Really the worst evolutionary psychology book ever"

    I'm fascinated by all the recent discoveries about the scientific nature of consciousness, but I'm getting pretty sick of the evolutionary psychology books, which seem to make sweeping generalizations based on scant data. And this book was the worst. The author cherry picked examples of animal behavior from all over the place and made direct comparisons to human behavior. It is one thing to try to understand human sexuality by looking at chimps and bonobos, but insects? And even horses seemed like quite a stretch.

    I also really didn't like how the author started almost every section by saying, I thought X was the weirdest behavior ever, and then I learned that animals did it too, so it seemed less crazy. She's talking about a lot of stigmatized behaviors -- sex, drugs, mental illness. It would be nice if she showed a little more empathy.

    Also her theory that yogurt causes bulimia still has me shaking me head.

    It's too bad, the book sounded like it was going to be really good when I heard Natterson-Horowitz interviewed on Fresh Air.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    laurel ventura, ca, United States 09-12-12
    laurel ventura, ca, United States 09-12-12 Member Since 2009
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    "terrific listen, I'm on my 2nd listen"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Zoobiquity to be better than the print version?

    yes


    What other book might you compare Zoobiquity to and why?

    story about the cells that were taken from one cancer pt- effect on mmillions because of that research


    Which scene was your favorite?

    too many


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. L. Huver USA 09-02-12
    K. L. Huver USA 09-02-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Mind overload- but not for the average person"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, but only a certain kind of friend. One who could handle all the sex talk and who is interessted in what animals and humans have in common.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The little girl with bulimia. I had never before consideded her fear and how it could relate to the fear animals have when they have to do something risky to eat.


    Have you listened to any of Karen White’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    It covers everything from sexy body language comparisons to weight problems. Truly comprehensive and enlightening.

    It is overwhelming how much we have to learn from each other. Animal doctors and human doctors. Having worked in a few vet clinics, I knew something was up, but I would have had no idea that they did not communicate more.

    There is some odd and disgusting stuff in this book too. I found myself blushing as I was walking around with my headphones on fearing the reaction of those around me if the headphones popped out and they could suddenly hear the odd stuff I was listening to. Listening to it a second time helped me, as I was so distracted the first time, I was shocked at how much I had missed.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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