Mendel's Ark - Biotechnology and the Future of Extinction
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Does extinction have to be forever? As the global extinction crisis accelerates, conservationists and policy-makers increasingly use advanced biotechnologies such as reproductive cloning, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and bioinformatics in the urgent effort to save species.
Mendel's Ark considers the ethical, cultural and social implications of using these tools for wildlife conservation. Drawing upon sources ranging from science to science fiction, it focuses on the stories we tell about extinction and the meanings we ascribe to nature and technology.
The use of biotechnology in conservation is redrawing the boundaries between animals and machines, nature and artifacts, and life and death. The new rhetoric and practice of de-extinction will thus have significant repercussions for wilderness and for society. The degree to which we engage collectively with both the prosaic and the fantastic aspects of biotechnological conservation will shape the boundaries and ethics of our desire to restore lost worlds.
author begins by discussing the issues involved in the extinction of plant and
animal life overall worldwide today. She
then goes on to review some ways in which the threat of extinction can be
reduced for some species, with particularly strong chapters on the cloning of
animals that have long been extinct and animals that have only recently become
extinct or are now threatened with extinction.” (David E. Newton, author of “Cloning:
A Reference Handbook”)
Combines science, technology and society studies with environmental studies, giving a new view on the problem of species extinction and the biodiversity crisis
Will appeal to scholars in such emerging areas as animal studies and post-humanities, as well as established disciplines such as political science and anthropology
Broadens the study of the life sciences from health and medical applications to the environment and wildlife preservation
Engages with a the significant, controversial and highly visible new rhetoric of "de-extinction"