Synopses & Reviews
Most cultures tell the tale of a maiden who gives birth untouched by a man. Is this just a myth, or could virgin birth become the way we make babies in the future? In Like a Virgin, biologist Aarathi Prasad explores inconceivable ideas about conception, from the Jesus Christ” lizards ability to self-reproduce (it walks on water, too) to the hunt for a real-life virgin mother among geneticists in the 1950s. Prasad then transports us to the maverick laboratories that today are inventing the equivalent of non-sexual selection”, from egg-fertilizing computer chips to artificial wombs for men. This adventurous romp to the frontiers of reproductive science will forever change the way you think about sex and parenthood. Aarathi Prasad is a biologist and science writer. She has appeared on television and radio, including as host of the BBC documentary The Quest for a Virgin Birth,” and written for publications such as Wired, New Scientist, and The Guardian. A single mother, she previously worked in research genetics at Imperial College, London. This is her first book.
"Sex how quaint, and increasingly needless, biologist and geneticist Prasad finds in this radical history of baby making. Shucking the 'myths and assumptions... stained by the politics of gender,' the London-based Prasad's debut explores virgin births reproduction without sex in the natural world, finding a steadily growing list that now includes insects, vertebrates, fish, and at least one mammal. The remarkable advances in science, going beyond in vitro fertilization, suggest a looming ethical nightmare as well as a dream come true for millions of infertile couples, she argues. Research is being done on artificial wombs and artificial sperm, the use of stem cells for reproduction, and 'genetic tinkering' that led to the 2004 birth in Japan of a mouse named Kaguya, the first animal in history to be born to two mothers. Though this mighty mouse's birth could very well herald a world without men, solo parenting, Prasad coolly preaches, 'would be the great biological and social equalizer, a truly new way of thinking about sex.' Her elegantly written romp through the science and history of conception is conceivably as much fun as you'll ever have thinking about sex without working up a sweat. Agent: Peter Tallack, the Science Factory. (Sept. 16)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.