Zoobiquity explores animal-human health connection at free Feb. 18 lecture

zoobiquity (2).pngAnimals overeat. They get breast cancer. They have fainting spells and develop compulsive habits.

When cardiologist Barbara Natterson-Horowitz did a consultation at the Los Angeles Zoo and discovered that a chimpanzee experienced the same symptoms of heart failure as her human patients, she embarked on a project that would explore the astonishing connection between human and animal health.

Dr. Natterson-Horowitz began examining every affliction that she encountered in humans to learn whether it happened with animals, too. And usually, it did: dinosaurs suffered from brain cancer, koalas can catch chlamydia, reindeer seek narcotic escape in hallucinogenic mushrooms, stallions self-mutilate, and gorillas experience clinical depression. She and collaborator Kathryn Bowers coined the term zoobiquity to describe this pan-species approach to medicine.

A professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Dr. Natterson-Horowitz will share those findings – and how they shaped her own practice – at the Fox Tucson Theatre on Thursday, Feb. 18, at 5:30 p.m.

Sponsored by Tucson Medical Center, this lecture will qualify for Continuing Education credit for doctors and nurses. Please select “Adult Ticket with CEU Credit” when registering.

Mary Atkinson, the director of wellness programs at Tucson Medical Center, said people have such strong connections to pets and animals, that it’s a perfect opportunity to launch a larger discussion about health.

“It is a very different way of engaging people in a discussion about their health and it’s intriguing to think about what we can learn from the animal kingdom that could help improve our own health,” she said.

Advance registration is required for the free lecture, and the subject matter may include explicit medical details that may not be suitable for children under 14.

To register for the event, please visit http://reidparkzoo.org/events/public/zoobiquity/

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