Introduction 1. Go Fish 2. Got Milk? 3. Double Trouble 4. Nine Lives 5. Sentient Sensors 6. Pin the Tail on the Dolphin 7. Robo Revolution 8. Beauty in the Beasts Notes Acknowledgements
Dolly the Sheep was just the start. Meet the high-tech menagerie of the near future, as scientists reinvent the animal kingdom
Emily Anthes is a science writer whose work has appeared in Discover, the Wall Street Journal, Scientific American, and many other publications. She is also the founder of the Wonderland blog, part of the Public Library of Science, one of the most prestigious and most read science research publishers in the world. This is her first book.
Animals are fascinating if reluctant soldiers in the biotech revolution, writes journalist Anthes (Instant Egghead Guide: The Mind) in this witty and thought-provoking book. Scientists, it turns out, have produced cyborg cockroaches, genetically altered mice whose brains we can control, and goats that express commercial drugs in their milk. Bizarre, to be sure, but undoubtedly beneficial: animals play a crucial role in the development of myriad products that make life better for humans. But what about the creatures' quality of life? Many decry the use of animals in experiments (though Anthes points out that Americans spend $300 billion "every year eating animal flesh"), yet even Charles Darwin, a staunch opponent of animal cruelty, refused to "condemn invasive animal research." Still, that doesn't mean we shouldn't strive to make that invasion less intrusive. Anthes argues that we are making our way through the ethical thicket. Ever-tinier microprocessors, receivers, and batteries let us tag and track "an ever-expanding menagerie of marine and terrestrial species," from seals to bees and the currents and winds they travel on. Anthes is optimistic we will "use our scientific superpowers wisely" to make life better for both the "creatures that live in scientific labs and those that run them." Agent: Abigail Koons, Park Literary Group. (Mar. 12) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Cloning a cat, dog, cow, or pig; creating fish with elements of other fish; the development of insect cyborgs (roboroaches) or roborats, osseointegration, and animal prothesis-there is no end to the fascinating directions biotechnology is taking today. Some of these developments may lead to treatments for ailments that strike pets, farm animals, or wild creatures. Some, such as robo-controlled animals, could lead in more devious directions. Science journalist Anthes takes readers through these areas and others with clarity and simplicity (given the technical nature of the topics). She presents some of the ethical questions posed by scientists' increasing ability to manipulate biology and includes examples of how laws can affect scientific research. She also lets individuals involved in these developments speak for themselves. VERDICT Funny and fun, this book is recommended for general readers seeking a current examination of biotech's applications to the animal kingdom.-Michael D. Cramer, Schwarz BioSciences, Research Triangle Park, NC (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
`Emily Anthes kicks our chairs and gets us to sit up straight and pay attention' * MENSA *