Frankenstein’s Cat by Emily Anthes

I bought this book ages ago and promptly forgot about it… Sometimes I just have to be in the right mood to read a popular science book, ya know? But when I finally managed to sit down with Frankenstein’s Cat, I really got into it. And it’s so much harder for a non-fiction science book to do that than a fiction book, so hats off to Emily Anthes.

Frankenstein’s Cat is a wonderful introduction to the new world of genetically modified and engineered animals. And it’s just as interesting (and at times, scary) as you may imagine. Changing animals so that they can help us, and also so that we can help them (in the case of prosthetics and some genetic changes) are fields that are developing quickly, and one of the most eye-opening things that I read in this book was about how legal systems are struggling to keep up with the new technologies.

Anthes explains the science behind these new creatures in an easy-to-understand way, so do not fret – you definitely don’t have to be a scientist to read this book. She leads you through each section without bogging you down with scientific lingo and lets you form your own opinions about the ethics behind each technology. If you want to learn more about how science is changing animal farming, medicine and conservation, then this book is perfect for you.

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