Could extinct species, like mammoths and passenger pigeons, be brought back to life? The science says yes. In How to Clone a Mammoth, Beth Shapiro, evolutionary biologist and pioneer in "ancient DNA" research, walks readers through the astonishing and controversial process of de-extinction. From deciding which species should be restored, to sequencing their genomes, to anticipating how revived populations might be overseen in the wild, Shapiro vividly explores the extraordinary cutting-edge science that is being used--today--to resurrect the past. Journeying to far-flung Siberian locales in search of ice age bones and delving into her own research--as well as those of fellow experts such as Svante Paabo, George Church, and Craig Venter--Shapiro considers de-extinction's practical benefits and ethical challenges. Would de-extinction change the way we live? Is this really cloning? What are the costs and risks? And what is the ultimate goal? Using DNA collected from remains as a genetic blueprint, scientists aim to engineer extinct traits--traits that evolved by natural selection over thousands of years--into living organisms. But rather than viewing de-extinction as a way to restore one particular species, Shapiro argues that the overarching goal should be the revitalization and stabilization of contemporary ecosystems. For example, elephants with genes modified to express mammoth traits could expand into the Arctic, re-establishing lost productivity to the tundra ecosystem. Looking at the very real and compelling science behind an idea once seen as science fiction, How to Clone a Mammoth demonstrates how de-extinction will redefine conservation's future.
If you could bring back just one animal from the past, what would you choose? It can be anyone or anything from history, from the King of the Dinosaurs, T. rex, to the King of Rock 'n' Roll, Elvis Presley, and beyond. De-extinction – the ability to bring extinct species back to life – is fast becoming reality. Around the globe, scientists are trying to de-extinct all manner of animals, including the woolly mammoth, the passenger pigeon and a bizarre species of flatulent frog. But de-extinction is more than just bringing back the dead. It's a science that can be used to save species, shape evolution and sculpt the future of life on our planet. In Bring Back the King, scientist and comedy writer Helen Pilcher goes on a quest to identify the perfect de-extinction candidate. Along the way, she asks if Elvis could be recreated from the DNA inside a pickled wart, investigates whether it's possible to raise a pet dodo, and considers the odds of a 21st century Neanderthal turning heads on public transport. Pondering the practicalities and the point of de-extinction, Bring Back the King is a witty and wry exploration of what is bound to become one of the hottest topics in conservation – if not in science as a whole – in the years to come. READ THIS BOOK – the King commands it.
Author: Rebecca E. Hirsch
Publisher: Twenty-First Century Books
Release Date: 2017-01-01
Genre: Young Adult Nonfiction
In the twenty-first century, because of climate change and other human activities, many animal species have become extinct, and many others are at risk of extinction. Once they are gone, we cannot bring them backor can we? With techniques such as cloning, scientists want to reverse extinction and return lost species to the wild. Some scientists want to create clones of recently extinct animals, while others want to make new hybrid animals. Many people are opposed to de-extinction. Some critics say that the work diverts attention from efforts to save species that are endangered. Others say that de-extinction amounts to scientists "playing God." Explore the pros and cons of de-extinction and the cutting-edge science that makes it possible.
Author: M. R. O'Connor
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: 2015-09-15
**A Library Journal Best Book of 2015 ** **A Christian Science Monitor Top Ten Book of September** In a world dominated by people and rapid climate change, species large and small are increasingly vulnerable to extinction. In Resurrection Science, journalist M. R. O'Connor explores the extreme measures scientists are taking to try and save them, from captive breeding and genetic management to de-extinction. Paradoxically, the more we intervene to save species, the less wild they often become. In stories of sixteenth-century galleon excavations, panther-tracking in Florida swamps, ancient African rainforests, Neanderthal tool-making, and cryogenic DNA banks, O'Connor investigates the philosophical questions of an age in which we "play god" with earth's biodiversity. Each chapter in this beautifully written book focuses on a unique species--from the charismatic northern white rhinoceros to the infamous passenger pigeon--and the people entwined in the animals' fates. Incorporating natural history and evolutionary biology with conversations with eminent ethicists, O'Connor's narrative goes to the heart of the human enterprise: What should we preserve of wilderness as we hurtle toward a future in which technology is present in nearly every aspect of our lives? How can we co-exist with species when our existence and their survival appear to be pitted against one another?
Author: Douglas Ian Campbell
Release Date: 2017-11-25
This book is about the philosophy of de-extinction. To make an extinct species ‘de-extinct’ is to resurrect it by creating new organisms of the same, or similar, appearance and genetics. The book describes current attempts to resurrect three species, the aurochs, woolly mammoth and passenger pigeon. It then investigates two major philosophical questions such projects throw up. These are the Authenticity Question—‘will the products of de-extinction be authentic members of the original species?’—and the Ethical Question—‘is de-extinction something that should be done?' The book surveys and critically evaluates a raft of arguments for and against the authenticity or de-extinct organisms, and for and against the ethical legitimacy of de-extinction. It concludes, first, that authentic de-extinctions are actually possible, and second, that de-extinction can potentially be ethically legitimate, especially when deployed as part of a ‘freeze now and resurrect later’ conservation strategy.
Author: Ben Mezrich
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2017-07-04
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
The bestselling author of The Accidental Billionaires and The 37th Parallel tells the fascinating Jurassic Park-like story of the genetic restoration of an extinct species—the woolly mammoth. “Paced like a thriller…Woolly reanimates history and breathes new life into the narrative of nature” (NPR). With his “unparalleled” (Booklist, starred review) writing, Ben Mezrich takes us on an exhilarating and true adventure story from the icy terrain of Siberia to the cutting-edge genetic labs of Harvard University. A group of scientists work to make fantasy reality by splicing DNA from frozen woolly mammoth into the DNA of a modern elephant. Will they be able to turn the hybrid cells into a functional embryo and potentially bring the extinct creatures to our modern world? Along with this team of brilliant scientists, a millionaire plans to build the world’s first Pleistocene Park and populate a huge tract of the Siberian tundra with ancient herbivores as a hedge against an environmental ticking time bomb that is hidden deep within the permafrost. More than a story of genetics, this is a thriller illuminating the real-life race against global warming, of the incredible power of modern technology, of the brave fossil hunters who battle polar bears and extreme weather conditions, and the ethical quandary of cloning extinct animals. This “rollercoaster quest for the past and future” (Christian Science Monitor) asks us if we can right the wrongs of our ancestors who hunted the woolly mammoth to extinction and at what cost?
A world-renowned paleontologist reveals groundbreaking science that trumps science fiction: how to grow a living dinosaur Over a decade after Jurassic Park, Jack Horner and his colleagues in molecular biology labs are in the process of building the technology to create a real dinosaur. Based on new research in evolutionary developmental biology on how a few select cells grow to create arms, legs, eyes, and brains that function together, Jack Horner takes the science a step further in a plan to "reverse evolution" and reveals the awesome, even frightening, power being acquired to recreate the prehistoric past. The key is the dinosaur's genetic code that lives on in modern birds- even chickens. From cutting-edge biology labs to field digs underneath the Montana sun, How to Build a Dinosaur explains and enlightens an awesome new science. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Journalist Torill Kornfeldt travelled the world to meet the scientists working to bring extinct animals back from the dead. Along the way, she has seen the mammoth that has been frozen for 20,000 years, and visited the places where these furry giants will live again.
Author: Roger H. Stuewer
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2018-07-12
The two decades between the first and second world wars saw the emergence of nuclear physics as the dominant field of experimental and theoretical physics, owing to the work of an international cast of gifted physicists. Prominent among them were Ernest Rutherford, George Gamow, the husband and wife team of Frédéric and Irène Joliot-Curie, John Cockcroft and Ernest Walton, Gregory Breit and Eugene Wigner, Lise Meitner and Otto Robert Frisch, the brash Ernest Lawrence, the prodigious Enrico Fermi, and the incomparable Niels Bohr. Their experimental and theoretical work arose from a quest to understand nuclear phenomena; it was not motivated by a desire to find a practical application for nuclear energy. In this sense, these physicists lived in an 'Age of Innocence'. They did not, however, live in isolation. Their research reflected their idiosyncratic personalities; it was shaped by the physical and intellectual environments of the countries and institutions in which they worked. It was also buffeted by the political upheavals after the Great War: the punitive postwar treaties, the runaway inflation in Germany and Austria, the Great Depression, and the intellectual migration from Germany and later from Austria and Italy. Their pioneering experimental and theoretical achievements in the interwar period therefore are set within their personal, institutional, and political contexts. Both domains and their mutual influences are conveyed by quotations from autobiographies, biographies, recollections, interviews, correspondence, and other writings of physicists and historians.
Author: James P. Collins
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2009-07-07
For over 350 million years, thousands of species of amphibians have lived on earth, but since the 1990s they have been disappearing at an alarming rate, in many cases quite suddenly and mysteriously. What is causing these extinctions? What role do human actions play in them? What do they tell us about the overall state of biodiversity on the planet? In Extinction in Our Times, James Collins and Martha Crump explore these pressing questions and many others as they document the first modern extinction event across an entire vertebrate class, using global examples that range from the Sierra Nevada of California to the rainforests of Costa Rica and the Mediterranean coast of North Africa. Joining scientific rigor and vivid storytelling, this book is the first to use amphibian decline as a lens through which to see more clearly the larger story of climate change, conservation of biodiversity, and a host of profoundly important ecological, evolutionary, ethical, philosophical, and sociological issues.
Jurassic Park meets The Sixth Extinction in Rise of the Necrofauna, a provocative look at de-extinction from acclaimed documentarist and science writer Britt Wray. A captivating whirlwind tour through the birth and early life of the scientific idea known as “de-extinction.”—Beth Shapiro, author of How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction What happens when you try to recreate a woolly mammoth—fascinating science, or conservation catastrophe? In Rise of the Necrofauna, Wray takes us deep into the minds and labs of some of the world's most progressive thinkers to find out. She introduces us to renowned futurists like Stewart Brand and scientists like George Church, who are harnessing the powers of CRISPR gene editing in the hopes of "reviving" extinct passenger pigeons, woolly mammoths, and heath hens. She speaks with Nikita Zimov, who together with his eclectic father Sergey, is creating Siberia's Pleistocene Park—a daring attempt to rebuild the mammoth's ancient ecosystem in order to save earth from climate disaster. Through interviews with these and other thought leaders, Wray reveals the many incredible opportunities for research and conservation made possible by this emerging new field. But we also hear from more cautionary voices, like those of researcher and award-winning author Beth Shapiro (How to Clone a Woolly Mammoth) and environmental philosopher Thomas van Dooren. Writing with passion and perspective, Wray delves into the larger questions that come with this incredible new science, reminding us that de-extinction could bring just as many dangers as it does possibilities. What happens, for example, when we bring an "unextinct" creature back into the wild? How can we care for these strange animals and ensure their comfort and safety—not to mention our own? And what does de-extinction mean for those species that are currently endangered? Is it really ethical to bring back an extinct passenger pigeon, for example, when countless other birds today will face the same fate? By unpacking the many biological, technological, ethical, environmental, and legal questions raised by this fascinating new field, Wray offers a captivating look at the best and worst of resurrection science. Published in partnership with the David Suzuki Institute.
Author: George M. Church
Publisher: Basic Books
Release Date: 2014-04-08
“Bold and provocative… Regenesis tells of recent advances that may soon yield endless supplies of renewable energy, increased longevity and the return of long-extinct species.”—New Scientist In Regenesis, Harvard biologist George Church and science writer Ed Regis explore the possibilities—and perils—of the emerging field of synthetic biology. Synthetic biology, in which living organisms are selectively altered by modifying substantial portions of their genomes, allows for the creation of entirely new species of organisms. These technologies—far from the out-of-control nightmare depicted in science fiction—have the power to improve human and animal health, increase our intelligence, enhance our memory, and even extend our life span. A breathtaking look at the potential of this world-changing technology, Regenesis is nothing less than a guide to the future of life.
Author: Louise O. Fresco
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 2015-10-27
Genre: Social Science
For the first time in human history, there is food in abundance throughout the world. More people than ever before are now freed of the struggle for daily survival, yet few of us are aware of how food lands on our plates. Behind every meal you eat, there is a story. Hamburgers in Paradise explains how. In this wise and passionate book, Louise Fresco takes readers on an enticing cultural journey to show how science has enabled us to overcome past scarcities—and why we have every reason to be optimistic about the future. Using hamburgers in the Garden of Eden as a metaphor for the confusion surrounding food today, she looks at everything from the dominance of supermarkets and the decrease of biodiversity to organic foods and GMOs. She casts doubt on many popular claims about sustainability, and takes issue with naïve rejections of globalization and the idealization of "true and honest" food. Fresco explores topics such as agriculture in human history, poverty and development, and surplus and obesity. She provides insightful discussions of basic foods such as bread, fish, and meat, and intertwines them with social topics like slow food and other gastronomy movements, the fear of technology and risk, food and climate change, the agricultural landscape, urban food systems, and food in art. The culmination of decades of research, Hamburgers in Paradise provides valuable insights into how our food is produced, how it is consumed, and how we can use the lessons of the past to design food systems to feed all humankind in the future.