De-Extinction: The Science of Bringing Lost Species Back to Life

120p. bibliog. diags. ebook available. further reading. glossary. index. notes. photos. websites. Twenty-First Century. Apr. 2017. lib. ed. $35.99. ISBN 9781467794909.
Gr 4–7—This well-conceived science title introduces the fascinating new field of de-extinction. Starting with the 2003 attempt to clone the recently extinct bucardo, the book explores how science and technology might be used to restore lost species, looking at current examples along with theoretical possibilities. Descriptions of scientific processes are clear and succinct and typically reinforced with useful examples. Mammoths and passenger pigeons are examined in detail, and several other animals and some plants are also discussed. Background about the species and how they became extinct smoothly leads into information on what steps have been taken so far to restore them, as well as future possibilities. Complex concepts such as cloning and genome sequencing are explained early on; readers then learn how they have been applied or considered in different ways, depending on the species, available materials, and other factors. The broader implications of de-extinction are also noted, such as the potential impact of mammoths on climate change. While the technological challenges are significant, the author also raises the influence of moral and ethical concerns and potential conflicts involving politics and funding. Visual support is generally effective; it includes photographs of species and scientists and a couple of effective cloning diagrams, though only one species map. The content is current, with status updates as recent as 2016.
VERDICT An excellent overview of an intriguing new topic; highly recommended for science collections.

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