How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

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 Paabo, 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.

Title:How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780691157054
Format Type:

    How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction Reviews

  • Dan Schwent

    How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of de-Extinction is a book detailing the trials and tribulations involved in bringing an extinct species back to life.I got this from Netgalley.Okay, here's the dea...

  • Wanda

    How to clone a mammoth? Well, you can’t yet. So this is not an instruction manual. Cloning requires a living somatic (body) cell from a creature and a living egg from the same or a very closely rela...

  • Nikki

    The topic contained within How to Clone a Mammoth greatly interests me and this is one of numerous books I've read on ancient DNA. Overall I felt as though Shapiro's writing style was not terribly enj...

  • Fox

    Last year I received Resurrection Science as an ARC from Netgalley and eagerly devoured it. This book was released around the same time, but I was unable to get my hands on it until the local library...

  • Nikki

    For a title which sounds like a how-to book, this book spends an awful amount of time pointing out the ways in which cloning a mammoth is not possible. A lot of science is stuff I was well aware of, b...

  • Adam  McPhee

    De-extinction is an idea that will become "a reframing of possibilities as momentous as landing humans on the moon was."This, I believe, is why people like me are so captivated by the idea of de-extin...

  • Rachel (Kalanadi)

    I get the sense that de-extinction is so new, it doesn't yet provide enough material for a full length book... but too much for an essay. Awkward. This is most likely due to the unengaging writing sty...

  • Nemo Nemo

    FINAL REVIEW How to Clone a Mammoth, by Beth ShapiroWho is Beth Shapiro?Beth Shapiro is literally a genius: at least that is what the administrators of the MacArthur Fellowship, known by some as The G...

  • Sue Burke

    Summary: It might be impossible to clone a mammoth, or, for that matter, to clone any other extinct animal. And it might not be necessary.The author leads the reader through the problems and reasons w...

  • Daphne

    Decent pop-sci book about cloning, but it did get repetitive. I enjoyed reading from a scientist directly involved in the field, but one part really stuck out for me. She mentioned the idea of cloning...