|1||Bob Harkins Branch||591.68 PIL||Book||Adult General Collection|
Helen Pilcher is uniquely qualified to explain the cutting-edge science that makes the resurrection of extinct animals a very real possibility, while acknowledging the serious and humorous aspects of giving a deceased animal a second chance to live. If you could bring back to life a person or animal, what would you choose? Pilcher highlights her own choices from eras gone, including the King of the Dinosaurs, Tyrannosaurus rex , and the King of Rock 'n' Roll, Elvis Presley.
From dinosaurs to dodos and Neanderthals, Bring Back the King reveals how the burgeoning field of DNA science is being used to help resurrect individual animals (did your beloved Fido die before siring offspring?) and entire species from their stony graves. Pilcher describes current initiatives and future plans to restore deceased animals, and uses both science and willful irreverence to assess the ramifications of how these genetic Lazaruses might fare in their brave new world. Could a pet dinosaur be trained to roll over? Would Neanderthals enjoy opera? Could a returning dodo seek vengeance upon humanity?
Blending the very latest de-extinction technology with cloning, and hard-core popular science with levity, Bring Back the King will generate a lot of thoughtful discussion and a chuckle or two.
Helen Pilcher is a professional science writer with a Ph.D. in stem-cell biology. A former journalist for Nature online, she also worked as a senior scientist for a biotechnology company, engineering a series of human stem-cell lines for transplantation into damaged human brains. She is also a stand-up comedian who has performed at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival and in clubs across Britain. She lives in Warwickshire, UK.
Publisher's Weekly Review
Pilcher, a British science journalist and comedian, details how scientists are using the latest advances in molecular genetics and reproductive biology to explore possibilities in the realm of de-extinction. Though de-extinction isn't an established scientific field-at least not yet-Pilcher reveals that researchers are finding ways to re-create genomes of extinct species and figuring out how to turn such genomes into living, breathing organisms. They're also attempting to increase the reproductive capacity of endangered species that are not yet extinct. In accessible prose, Pilcher describes many of those techniques as well as the passion of those involved in these efforts. She also explores the current technical limitations and explains why we will likely never be able to bring back extinct species of dinosaurs and the vast majority of species that have been lost. Pilcher presents an insightful discussion of the ethical and ecological reasons why it might not make sense to do so even if we could. Whether she's dealing with wooly mammoths, peculiar Australian frogs, Neanderthals, or Elvis Presley, she asks provocative questions about both the nature of science and what it means to be human. Pilcher uses humor effectively to keep readers engaged, and there is a great deal here to entertain and educate them. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Library Journal Review
Can science use genetic engineering to resurrect extinct species, and should it even try? Science writer Pilcher (theknick-knackatory.blogspot.com, formerly Nature) answers with delightfully comprehensible prose. Pilcher traces how scientists recover ancient DNA, map and edit genomes, and clone animals. Though the explanations feel feather-light, the nontechnical language occasionally slips into sloppiness. The author does not call the Cretaceous/Tertiary (Paleogene) Extinction by name and labels 80-million-year-old fossils Jurassic rather than Cretaceous. Digressions about her own pregnancy and Elvis kitsch add little, while the ethical arguments are sometimes inconsistent or incomplete. Pilcher mentions deextinction's possible ecological consequences but advocates disrupting an established ecosystem to transform arctic tundra into grassland. She lauds zoo veterinarian Thomas Hildebrandt for harvesting ova from rhinos yet opposes creating a similar technique for elephants. And she dismisses human cloning with a few authorities' pronouncements, even though the procedure has advocates and is not banned in the United States. This title competes with M.R. O'Connor's Resurrection Science, Ed Regis and George M. Church's Regenesis, and Beth Shapiro's How To Clone a Mammoth. VERDICT Sadly, this extremely nontechnical approach to genetic manipulation's wonders fails to stand out in a crowded field.-Eileen H. Kramer, Georgia Perimeter Coll. Lib., Clarkston © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
|Introduction: Bringin' It Back||p. 11|
|Chapter 1 King of the Dinosaurs||p. 33|
|Chapter 2 King of the Cavemen||p. 65|
|Chapter 3 King of the Ice Age||p. 95|
|Chapter 4 King of the Birds||p. 125|
|Chapter 5 King of Down Under||p. 151|
|Chapter 6 King of Rock 'n Roll||p. 179|
|Chapter 7 Blue Christmas||p. 211|
|Chapter 8 I Just Can't Help Believing||p. 233|
|Chapter 9 Now You See It ...||p. 251|
|Key References: A Little Less Conversation, a Little More Reading||p. 283|