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Reference Desk September 2012

Animal, Human Similarities in Bullying, Infertility, Cancer and Obesity Explored at "Zoobiquity" Conference

    LOS ANGELES, CA, 9/10/12

    We really have more in common with animals than we think.  Beyond the skin, fur and feathers, humans and animals are profoundly alike, carrying similar genetics and having tremendous overlap in health and disease.  Since we can’t talk to the animals like Doctor Dolittle, the next best thing is for doctors and veterinarians to learn from each other by sharing similar cases and discussing a species-spanning approach to medicine, which will happen at the second annual “Zoobiquity” conference.  This year’s event will focus on commonalities in obesity, infertility, cancer and psychiatry issues such as bullying and self-injury.   During the afternoon, attendees will visit the Los Angeles Zoo and meet animals with fascinating comparative cases to humans.

    The one-day event is organized by David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine at Western University of Health Sciences and Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens and will be attended by doctors, veterinarians, public health professionals and basic scientists from a wide range of specialties.

    (Full program available here.)

    7:30 – 8:30 – Welcome and Keynote

    8:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. (Morning Program Highlights)

    • Infertility in the Endangered Panda, Cheetah, Elephant and a Math Teacher
    • Breast Cancer in a Cocker Spaniel and a 45-Year Old Woman
    • Bone Cancer in a Golden Retriever and a 17-Year Old Baseball Pitcher
    • Bullying in Welsh Corgis, Cats and Children
    • Self-Injury in a Stallion and a 14-Year Old Female Adolescent
    • Morbid Obesity in a Labrador Retriever, Himalayan Cat and 23-Year Old Student

    2:30 -3:30 p.m. (Meeting Animals at the Zoo)

    • Contraception in Yellow-Footed Rock Wallabies
    • Screening for Heart Disorder in Gorilla and Pulmonary Hypertension in Orangutan
    • Painful Periods in Orangutan
    • Lead Toxicity and Microtrash in California Condors
    • Periodontal and Craniofacial Diseases in Hunting Dog, Wallabies and Bears


    Sat., Sept. 28, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Tamkin Auditorium (757 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles, 90095)(Map)         


    Zoobiquity, a term coined by UCLA cardiologist Dr. Barbara Natterson-Horowitz  and medical author Kathryn Bowers, describes a new movement in health that draws expertise from veterinary and human medicine – to the advantage of both.  Natterson-Horowitz’s work with the L.A. Zoo in helping to monitor common heart issues that can also affect animals sparked her interest in this approach. Natterson-Horowitz and Bowers also wrote the book, Zoobiquity.  Natterson-Horowitz is the conference chair.


    Rachel Champeau, UCLA Health Sciences Media Relations, (310) 794-0777

    Jason Jacobs, Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens, (323) 644-4273

    Source: UCLA Office of Media Relations


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