Zoobiquity: the idea that humans and animals can be studied together to determine and solve health issues in our world today.

On Saturday, I went to an interview of the two women who wrote the book, Zoobiquity (Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and Kathryn Bowers). The underlying purpose of the book was to enlighten people in the world today in the area of medicine and health, stating that animals experience similar health issues that humans experience. By studying the symptoms and behavior of animals, we may possibly solve and answer some of the underlying questions in which we seek knowledge to cure many human medical problems.

To me, one of the most fascinating parts of the interview was when Ms. Bowers was explaining that cancer in dogs is more closely related to cancer in humans than cancer in mice (whom we test for possible cures) is related to cancer in humans. By researching dogs who already have cancer, we are able to determine that because dogs live in environments that are very similar to ours, our diseases are also very similar, much more so than a mouse in a lab who was given the cancerous treatment to begin with and then tested on. This resonates with what we learned in AP Biology- the fact that similar environments yield similar population responses to the environment.

I think that it is very important to understand that humans and animals are extremely similar. I think that many people don’t understand that we have very similar behavioral responses. It was a shock to learn that even animals self-injure themselves, a behavioral response I thought to be only by humans. Helping substance abuse in birds that frequently eat poppies and giving beta blockers to monkeys with heart failure are indications that animals and humans are not as different as they might seem in the medical world.

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