Ever since humans appeared on the scene, we have been altering life on Earth. Where once our actions could be considered part of nature’s fabric, our influence has become outsized and our options to exercise it have multiplied. Though the subtitle of
Life Changing does not make it explicit, science writer Helen Pilcher focuses on our impact on the genetics and evolution of life around us. A book that stands out for its balanced tone, it managed to surprise me more than once, despite my familiarity with the topics considered.
evolution and tagged agriculture, air pollution, Andrew Digby, animal breeding, Anthropocene, artificial insemination, artificial selection, assisted evolution, aurochs, Australia, bacteria, bears, biodiversity, Biston betularia, Bloomsbury Publishing, Bloomsbury Sigma, book review, canaries, cattle, Center for PostNatural History, Charles Darwin, chickens, Chris D. Thomas, climate change, cloning, coral bleaching, coral reefs, corals, cows, CRISPR-Cas9, crops, de-extinction, Dmitri Belyaev, DNA, DNA fingerprinting, DNA methylation, dogs, Dolly the sheep, domestication, domestication syndrome, ecology, elephants, epigenetics, evolution, extinction, factory farming, farm animals, farming, fish, fish farming, fishing, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), fossil record, fossils, foxes, gene drives, gene editing, genetic diversity, genetic hybridisation, genetic modification, genetics, genome, global warming, goats, golden spikes, grizzly bears, hopeful monsters, horses, human hunting, in vitro fertilization (IVF), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), invasive species, Jamie Craggs, keystone species, Knepp Estate (United Kingdom), kākāpōs, livestock, Madeleine van Oppen, malaria, mammoth steppe, mammoths, Mark Carwardine, mass extinctions, medicine, megafauna, mosquitoes, moths, mutations, Neanderthals, New Zealand, non-native species, ocean temperature, oceans, Oostvaardersplassen (the Netherlands), organ transplantation, passenger pigeons, Paul Crutzen, peppered moths, pest control, pesticide resistance, pesticides, pests, pets, Philip Lymberry, pigeons, pigs, plants, polar bears, polo (sports), popular science, possums, poultry industry, rabbits, radiation, radioactivity, rewilding, rhinos, Richard Goldschmidt, Ruth Gates, salmon, self-domestication, shifting baselines, silver foxes, single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), Sixth Extinction, sparrows, speciation, stratigraphy, transgenic organisms, trophy hunting, urban ecology, urban evolution, wildlife conservation, wolves, woolly mammoths, xenotransplantation on .
August 16, 2021 1 Comment
Charismatic as big cats might be, their origins and evolutionary history are still not fully understood. In a mind-bogglingly beautiful marriage of art and science,
On the Prowl provides a current overview of big cat evolution that will have many a book lover purring with pleasure.
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July 15, 2020 1 Comment
This book is a searing critique of the wildlife conservation movement, specifically in Kenya. To be clear, this is not a book serving some shady agenda that seeks to deny the need for conservation. Instead, the two authors, a Kenyan journalist and a carnivore ecologist, are very critical of the way in which white, rich westerners dominate this field, to the exclusion of native voices and needs.