Zoobiquity Book Summary - Zoobiquity Book explained in key points

Zoobiquity summary

Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and Kathryn Bowers

The Astonishing Connection Between Human and Animal Health

4.5 (11 ratings)
19 mins

Brief summary

"Zoobiquity" by Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and Kathryn Bowers explores the similarities and connections between animal and human health, revealing how studying animal biology can help us better understand and treat our own medical conditions.

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    Summary of 11 key ideas

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    Humans and animals are so genetically similar that it makes sense for their doctors to collaborate.

    Have you ever been to a zoo and found yourself taken aback by the “humanness” of the behavior of some monkeys or other animals? That closeness isn’t just a coincidence, or your imagination. It’s genetic.

    Human beings and animals have many fundamental similarities, including their genes. In fact, the human genome is 98.6 percent identical to the chimpanzee's.

    Biologists call the genetic similarities we share with other animals deep homology. Deep homology doesn’t just refer to species that are closely related, like wolves and dogs, or humans and chimps. It also refers to animals that are more distantly related. For example, it explains the connection between light-responsive vision in a hawk and photosensitivity in green algae.

    Because of the intimate similarities between humans and animals, it’s logical that veterinary and medical researchers should collaborate. In fact, this used to be the case: two centuries ago, most physicians also tended to their town’s animals. This changed in the twentieth century, when people began to give physicians a higher social status, and they began to have more prestige and higher salaries. Unfortunately, these benefits weren’t extended to veterinarians.

    The dividing line between doctors and vets still exists, although it is slowly being weakened. In 2007, for instance, the head of the American Medical Association and the head of the American Veterinary Medical Association arranged a meeting, hoping to foster collaboration between physicians and veterinarians.

    If collaborative efforts like this continue, we might gain a better understanding of both human and animal biology. Our genetic similarities run deep – but how similar is our behavior, or the way diseases affect our bodies? The following blinks take a closer look at some of the astonishing similarities we share with the animals in our world.

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    What is Zoobiquity about?

    Zoobiquity describes the intimate similarities between humans and other animals by examining topics such as sexuality, health and psychological development. It illustrates how we, as humans, could have much to gain by increasing our understanding of the animals we share our planet with.

    Zoobiquity Review

    Zoobiquity (2012) by Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and Kathryn Bowers is a fascinating exploration of the interconnectedness between human and animal health. Here's why this book is a must-read:

    • The book offers eye-opening insights into the similarities between human and animal diseases, challenging our understanding of medicine and health.
    • Backed by extensive research and compelling case studies, it sheds light on the shared evolutionary roots of various illnesses, expanding our understanding of both human and animal health.
    • With its unique approach and narrative flair, the book successfully engages readers, making complex scientific concepts accessible and never ceases to intrigue.

    Best quote from Zoobiquity

    Seeing too much of ourselves in other animals might not be the problem ... underappreciating our own animal natures may be.

    —Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and Kathryn Bowers
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    Who should read Zoobiquity?

    • Anyone interested in medicine
    • Anyone interested in biology or zoology
    • Anyone interested in animals

    About the Author

    Barbara Natterson-Horowitz is a professor of cardiology at University of California, Los Angeles. She’s also a member of the medical advisory board of the Los Angeles Zoo. Kathryn Bowers is a writer and producer at CNN International, and she often gives lectures at UCLA on medical topics.

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    Zoobiquity FAQs 

    What is the main message of Zoobiquity?

    The main message of Zoobiquity is the importance of understanding the connection between human and animal health.

    How long does it take to read Zoobiquity?

    The reading time for Zoobiquity varies depending on the reader's speed. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in a few minutes.

    Is Zoobiquity a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Zoobiquity is a fascinating book that provides valuable insights into the intersection of human and animal health.

    Who is the author of Zoobiquity?

    Zoobiquity is authored by Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and Kathryn Bowers.