How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction
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 Pääbo, 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.
- ISBN: 9780691157054
- Author(s): Beth Shapiro
- Stock Code: 1157054
- Format: Hardback
- Illustrations: Colour plates, Black & white photographs, Black & white illustrations
- Pages: 234
- Published: 2015
Hardback £20.00Buy Now
Elizabeth Kolbert combines brilliant field reporting, the history of ideas and the work of geologists, botanists and marine biologists to tell the gripping stories of a dozen species, some already gone, others at the point of vanishing. Among the iconic species considered are the Panamanian golden frog and the Sumatran rhino. The sixth extinction is likely to be mankind's most lasting legacy and this title urgently compels us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human. Illustration type: B/W photographs, B/W illustrations, 336pp. 2014
Hardback £35.00Buy Now
The follow-up to the award-winning Extinct Boids, Ralph Steadman's Nextinction features more of the incredible art of cartoonist Ralph Steadman. This time the focus is not on the birds that are gone, but the ones that there's still time to save. A proportion of the proceeds from Ralph Steadman's Nextinction goes to BirdLife International, to help them prevent the Nextinction.