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J Intern Med. 2019 Oct 22. doi: 10.1111/joim.12982. [Epub ahead of print]

Biomimetics - Nature's roadmap to insights and solutions for burden of lifestyle diseases.

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Division of Renal Medicine, Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology, Department of Integrative Biology and Evolution, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Austria.
Division of Renal Diseases, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO, USA.
Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, UCLA Division of Cardiology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA.
Evolutionary Medicine Program at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA.


There are over 8 million species in this world that live in widely varying environments, from hot thermal fissures to cold arctic settings. These species have evolved over millions of years and vary markedly in how they have adapted to their environments. In the last decades, studies of how species have succeeded in surviving in different environments and with different resources have been recognized to provide not only insights into disease but also novel means for developing treatments. Here, we provide an overview of two related and overlapping approaches (biomimetics and zoobiquity), which are turning to the natural world for insights to better understand, treat and prevent human 'burden of lifestyle' pathologies from heart disease and cancer to degeneration and premature ageing. We suggest that expanding biomedical investigation beyond its decades old conventional practices to new approaches based on a broad awareness of the diversity of animal life and comparative physiology can accelerate innovations in health care under the motto 'Nature knows best'.


Nrf2; biomimetics; environment; evolution; hypoxia; oxidative stress


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