Zoobiquity presents comparative medicine as a new translational science, bringing knowledge from veterinary and evolutionary medicine to the human bedside. It considers the evolutionary origins and comparative biology of human medical concerns with chapters on the animal origins of sudden cardiac death, addiction, OCD, erectile dysfunction, STDs, and many other common human concerns.
Readers with an interest in cardiovascular disease may be especially interested in “The Feint of Heart” and “Scared to Death” chapters which take a comparative approach to understanding the origins of sudden cardiac death. “Roar-gasm” considers comparative and evolutionary aspects of the erection, ejaculation, and orgasm exploring sexual function and dysfunction in animals from narwhals to lemurs to stallions. “The Koala and the Clap” looks for parallels between human STDs and the epidemics of chlamydia in the koalas of Australia and of syphilis in wild rabbits. “Jews, Jaguars, and Jurassic Cancer” connects metastatic cancer in the fossilized bones of a dinosaur to metastatic melanoma in a chihuahua and BRCA1 mutation-related breast cancer in an exotic Venezuelan jaguar and a suburban American schoolteacher.
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For individuals struggling with, clinicians treating, or investigators studying patients with alcohol and drug abuse “Zoophoria” exposes substance seeking in wild and domestic animals and offers species-spanning therapeutic insights. Readers interested in human behavioral disturbances may find “Grooming Gone Wild” of interest as it identifies natural animal models of self-injury (cutting) in animals or “Fear of Feeding” which identifies natural animal models of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. “Leaving the Nest” compares adolescents across the animal kingdom revealing a remarkable increase in risk-taking (and increased risk of accidental death) across adolescents of many species. “Fat Planet” points out parallel epidemics of obesity in human and non-human populations including companion animals, agricultural animals and even some species of wild animals. The chapter points to how and why animals gain weight as an unexplored source of knowledge for human obesity investigators. Finally, “Zoobiquity” features the essential role veterinarians play in keeping all of the patients on the planet safe from pandemic threats.
Zoobiquity proposes an interdisciplinary, “species-spanning” approach to understanding common clinical concerns. It espouses a novel approach which not only expands how physicians understand disease in human patients, but holds hypothesis-generating and translational potential.