Stenvinkel P, Avesani CM, Gordon LJ, Schalling M, Shiels PG
J Clin Transl Sci 5 (1) e128 [2021-05-17; online 2021-05-17]
Homo sapiens is currently living in serious disharmony with the rest of the natural world. For our species to survive, and for our well-being, we must gather knowledge from multiple perspectives and actively engage in studies of planetary health. The enormous diversity of species, one of the most striking aspects of life on our planet, provides a source of solutions that have been developed through evolution by natural selection by animals living in extreme environments. The food system is central to finding solutions; our current global eating patterns have a negative impact on human health, driven climate change and loss of biodiversity. We propose that the use of solutions derived from nature, an approach termed biomimetics, could mitigate the effects of a changing climate on planetary health as well as human health. For example, activation of the transcription factor Nrf2 may play a role in protecting animals living in extreme environments, or animals exposed to heat stress, pollution and pesticides. In order to meet these challenges, we call for the creation of novel interdisciplinary planetary health research teams.