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The surprising things humans can learn about themselves from animal illness

Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

We return to the conversation with a cardiologist and animal behaviorist about the connection between human and veterinary medicine. And then hear from a scholar about the life and legacy of Alexander Clark, an African American Iowan who won the first successful school desegregation case in the history of the United States.

While scientific consensus has long backed up the familial connection between humans and other animals, there is relatively little in the way of crossover thinking occurring between the medical and veterinary professions.

But in the early 2000s, Dr. Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, a cardiologist at the UCLA Medical Center, was asked to join the medical advisory board for the Los Angeles Zoo and began hearing about "congestive heart failure in a gorilla or leukemia in a rhinoceros or breast cancer in a tiger or a lion." She coined the term "zoobiquity" to describe the idea of looking to animals and the doctors who care for them to better understand human health.

In her book with coauthor Kathryn Bowers, they explore the connection between human and veterinary medicine; how a comparative approach could advance knowledge of ourselves and our animal relatives.

Later in the program, we hear from Dwain Coleman, then a graduate student at the University of Iowa, about the life and legacy of Alexander Clark, a visionary and groundbreaking African American lawyer and activist from Muscatine. More than 86 years before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. the Board of Education, Clark, an Iowan, won the first successful school desegregation case in the history of the United States.

The first two parts of this conversation were originally produced on April 9, 2013. The final segment on Feb. 25, 2019.

Guests:

  • Dr. Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and Kathryn Bowers, coauthors of Zoobiquity:The Astonishing Connection Between Human and Animal Health (2013)
  • Dwain Coleman, a scholar of the life of Alexander Clark
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Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa