Synopses & Reviews
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.
"Anthes tours the intersection of the animal kingdom and human sciences, showing different examples of how humans are reshaping animal life for good, questionable, and trivial purposes. From reproducing and reprograming genes to creating animal prosthetics, Anthes reveals the curious ways humans have come to use and support animal lives with little regard for the consequence of their actions. Narrator Hillary Huber turns in a mixed performance. While she can imbue her narration with tone and personality, she also reads with a nasally projection that feels removed. Despite this performance, the combination of narration and content will keep listeners engaged throughout the production. An FSG/Scientific American hardcover. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"An elegant tour of the wild and fraught sideshow of animal biotechnology." ---Kirkus
Journalist Emily Anthes takes listeners from petri dish to pet store as she explores how biotechnology is shaping the future of our furry and feathered friends.
About the Author
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. She holds a master's degree in science writing from MIT and a bachelor's degree in the history of science and medicine from Yale University. Emily lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her dog, Milo. Hillary Huber records audiobooks on a regular basis, garnering consistently glowing reviews and earning her several Audie Award nominations, including for A Field of Darkness by Cornelia Read, Sunrise Alley by Catherine Asaro, and What Shamu Taught Me About Life, Love, and Marriage by Amy Sutherland. She also earned an AudioFile Earphones Award for her narration of This Book Is Overdue! AudioFile magazine says, "Hillary Huber's narration is lyrical enough to be set to music." Hillary lives in Los Angeles.