Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, M.D. and Kathryn Bowers coined the term "zoobiquity" in their wonderful book on pan-species medicine Zoobiquity: The Astonishing Connection Between Human and Animal Health. Natterson-Horowitz and Bowers explore just how much the animal kingdom has to teach us about what it is to be human.
Kevin Strange, professor and director of the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory (MDIBL) in Maine, lives this idea and works through it every day. Strange writes in today's lesson that the interrelatedness of all life "has important implications for how we understand the inner workings of our biology and for how we develop therapies to treat the thousands of diseases that plague our species."
That means we need interdisciplinary research to see the bigger picture, not specialization. "It is not an option, but a societal obligation to remove the silos, reemphasize evolutionary science and broaden biological and biomedical thinking," Strange writes. "Only in this manner can we hope to solve the myriad of human health problems in the most rapid, economical and innovative ways."