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Woolly : The True Story of the Quest to Revive One of History's Most Iconic Extinct Creatures
by Ben Mezrich and George Church and Stewart Brand


Overview - Science fiction becomes reality in this Jurassic Park -like story of the genetic resurrection of an extinct species--the woolly mammoth--by the bestselling author of The Accidental Billionaires and The 37th Parallel .  Read more...

 
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More About Woolly by Ben Mezrich; George Church; Stewart Brand
 
 
 
Overview
Science fiction becomes reality in this Jurassic Park-like story of the genetic resurrection of an extinct species--the woolly mammoth--by the bestselling author of The Accidental Billionaires and The 37th Parallel.

"With his knack for turning narrative nonfiction into stories worthy of the best thriller fiction" (Omnivoracious), Ben Mezrich takes us on an exhilarating true adventure story from the icy terrain of Siberia to the cutting-edge genetic labs of Harvard University. A group of young scientists, under the guidance of Dr. George Church, the most brilliant geneticist of our time, works to make fantasy reality by sequencing the DNA of a frozen woolly mammoth harvested from above the Arctic circle, and splicing elements of that sequence into the DNA of a modern elephant. Will they be able to turn the hybrid cells into a functional embryo and bring the extinct creatures to life in our modern world?

Along with Church and his team of Harvard scientists, a world-famous conservationist and a genius Russian scientist plan to turn a tract of the Siberian tundra into Pleistocene Park, populating the permafrost with ancient herbivores as a hedge against an environmental ticking time bomb. More than a story of genetics, this is a thriller illuminating the race against global warming, the incredible power of modern technology, the brave fossil hunters who battle polar bears and extreme weather conditions, and the ethical quandary of cloning extinct animals. Can we right the wrongs of our ancestors who hunted the woolly mammoth to extinction--and at what cost?

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781501135552
  • ISBN-10: 1501135554
  • Publisher: Atria Books
  • Publish Date: July 2017
  • Page Count: 304
  • Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.06 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Science > Natural History
Books > Biography & Autobiography > Scientists - General
Books > Science > Life Sciences - Biological Diversity

 
BookPage Reviews

The tip of the iceberg

When Michael Crichton published Jurassic Park in 1990, people were enthralled by the idea of bringing long-extinct dinosaur species back to life. It was an intriguing notion, yet pure science-fiction entertainment. Now, just over 25 years later, a similar concept may soon become a reality, as evidenced by the fascinating new book Woolly: The True Story of the Quest to Revive One of History’s Most Iconic Extinct Creatures by Ben Mezrich.

Mezrich explains how a team of scientists led by brilliant geneticist Dr. George Church is currently working on resurrecting the prehistoric woolly mammoth. The scientists are trying to sequence the DNA of woolly mammoths that were found frozen in the Arctic and splice elements of that sequence into the DNA of a modern Asian elephant (its closest living ancestor).

Repopulating the woolly mammoth in an isolated region of Siberia is the brainchild of Russian scientist Sergey Zimov, who has slowly been collecting mammals that can survive the area’s frigid conditions such as reindeer, musk oxen and moose. Called Pleistocene Park, this experiment is not a whimsical theme park, but rather a way to slow down global warming. When herbivores disappeared from this region, much of the vegetation vanished, too. Reviving the grasslands and animals that feed on them helps keep the permafrost from melting, preventing the release of carbon into the atmosphere and decelerating the greenhouse effect so detrimental to our planet.

Deftly connecting the backstories of all the players involved in this extremely complex undertaking, Mezrich explains the genetics and genomics in layman’s terms, piecing together a mesmerizing tale. He also discusses the numerous obstacles they face—political, ethical and monetary, to name a few. A thought-provoking story, Woolly shows how the power of technology can take concepts previously considered inconceivable and transform them into realities.

This article was originally published in the July 2017 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews