Frankenstein's Cat: Cuddling Up to Biotech's Brave New Beasts

Frankenstein's Cat: Cuddling Up to Biotech's Brave New Beasts

CD-Audio

By (author) Emily Anthes, Narrator Hillary Huber

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  • Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc
  • Format: CD-Audio
  • Dimensions: 137mm x 191mm x 8mm | 91g
  • Publication date: 24 June 2013
  • Publication City/Country: Old Saybrook, CT
  • ISBN 10: 1452664439
  • ISBN 13: 9781452664439
  • Edition: Unabridged
  • Edition statement: Unabridged

Product description

For centuries, we've toyed with our creature companions, breeding dogs that herd and hunt, housecats that look like tigers, and teacup pigs that fit snugly in our handbags. But what happens when we take animal alteration a step further, engineering a cat that glows green under ultraviolet light or cloning the beloved family Labrador? Science has given us a whole new toolbox for tinkering with life. How are we using it? In "Frankenstein's Cat," journalist Emily Anthes takes us from petri dish to pet store as she explores how biotechnology is shaping the future of our furry and feathered friends. As she ventures from bucolic barnyards to a "frozen zoo" where scientists are storing DNA from the planet's most exotic creatures, she discovers how we can use cloning to protect endangered species, craft prosthetics to save injured animals, and employ genetic engineering to supply farms with disease-resistant livestock. Along the way, we meet some of the animals that are ushering in this astonishing age of enhancement, including sensor-wearing seals, cyborg beetles, a bionic bulldog, and the world's first cloned cat. Through her encounters with scientists, conservationists, ethicists, and entrepreneurs, Anthes reveals that while some of our interventions may be trivial (behold: the GloFish), others could improve the lives of many species--including our own. So what does biotechnology "really" mean for the world's wild things? And what do our brave new beasts tell us about ourselves? With keen insight and her trademark spunk, Anthes highlights both the peril and the promise of our scientific superpowers, taking us on an adventure into a world where our grandest science fiction fantasies are fast becoming reality.

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Author information

Emily Anthes is a science journalist whose articles have appeared in the "New York Times," "Wired," "Scientific American," "Psychology Today," and other publications. She is also the author of "Instant Egghead Guide: The Mind." A multiple Audie Award finalist, an "AudioFile" Earphones Award winner, and one of "AudioFile"'s Best Voices of 2010 and 2011, Hillary Huber has recorded close to two hundred titles. "AudioFile" magazine says, "Hillary Huber's narration is lyrical enough to be set to music."

Review quote

"An elegant tour of the wild and fraught sideshow of animal biotechnology." ---Kirkus