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About The Book

It all started with a Hob Nob. As Dr Matt Morgan, an intensive care consultant, examined a patient who had suffered a cardiac arrest after inhaling some biscuit crumbs, he saw a flock of birds fly past the window. They must inhale objects all the time when flying, how do they survive? he thought to himself. This began an investigation that spanned continents, species and millennia.

For animal science has so much to teach us about human medicine. While some of the overlaps and parallels are obvious – we know how much DNA we share with primates, the first pig heart has been transplanted into a human – there is so much more that we have learnt from the animal world. For example, studying kangaroos, in particular the female’s three vaginas, has improved in-vitro fertilisation success rates. Watching how a giraffe breathes can help save the life of someone struggling with asthma. Investigating why birds that live in the frozen Arctic circle don’t freeze to death led to advances with treating hypothermia. Getting a ECG on the 150kg heart of a humpback whale was instrumental to keeping patients with cardiac failure living longer.

We owe animals so much, it’s time to focus on examining how they live and what we still have to learn from them. Better shared understanding of how our species coexists with millions of others can lead to untold medical advances, help both humans and animals and improve the world for all creatures from single-celled bacteria to a 30,000 kg whale. Who knows, maybe a kiss from a frog will save your life?

About The Author

Victoria Cummings

Dr Matt Morgan is a British intensive care doctor. His open letter addressed to patients during the 2020 COVID pandemic has been read by over half a million people worldwide and viewed by over two million times after featuring on the Channel 4 news. His articles have featured in the Guardian, the Telegraph, the Daily Mail, the Sunday Mirror and Huffington Post. A regular writer for the internationally acclaimed British Medical Journal, his article 'A letter from the ICU' is one of their most popular ever opinion article, read by over 130,000 people in 2020. His first book, Critical, has been translated into four languages. He lives in Australia with his family, enjoys CrossFit, photography, cold beer and even colder ice cream.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (March 14, 2024)
  • Length: 288 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781471173103

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Raves and Reviews

'290 pages of inspiration doctors can either take from animals or already have'

– The Times

‘Funny, fascinating and beautifully written. More than that it is moving and awe inspiring… I can’t think of a more important topic for everyone on the planet to engage with right now'

– Dr Xand van Tulleken

'Morgan draws on the similarities between humans and animals to show how much we can learn from them by understanding them better'

– Peter Singer

'A fun and fascinating dive into the physiology of the animal kingdom and what it means for the medicine we practise'

– Kevin Fong

'In humanity's quest to tackle some of our biggest health challenges, the animal kingdom can provide a rich and often surprising source of inspiration. In this dazzling book, full of extraordinary revelations, the reader is transported on an intriguing journey through the natural world and how it is helping to inspire doctors around the world on the frontiers of medicine'

– David Cox

'Anyone interested in a One Medicine approach will find this book an interesting introduction. Reciprocity is not just what animals can do for humans, but what humans can do for animals. We are stronger together and that is why Dr Morgan’s book is a wonderful step in that direction'

– Joe Bailey, CEO, Humanimal Trust

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