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Short Synopsis
Journalist Emily Anthes takes listeners from petri dish to pet store as she explores how biotechnology is shaping the future of our furry and feathered friends.

Full Synopsis
For centuries, we've toyed with our creature companions, breeding dogs that herd and hunt, housecats that look like tigers, and teacup pigs that fit snugly in our handbags. But what happens when we take animal alteration a step further, engineering a cat that glows green under ultraviolet light or cloning the beloved family Labrador? Science has given us a whole new toolbox for tinkering with life. How are we using it?

In Frankenstein's Cat, journalist Emily Anthes takes us from petri dish to pet store as she explores how biotechnology is shaping the future of our furry and feathered friends. As she ventures from bucolic barnyards to a "frozen zoo" where scientists are storing DNA from the planet's most exotic creatures, she discovers how we can use cloning to protect endangered species, craft prosthetics to save injured animals, and employ genetic engineering to supply farms with disease-resistant livestock. Along the way, we meet some of the animals that are ushering in this astonishing age of enhancement, including sensor-wearing seals, cyborg beetles, a bionic bulldog, and the world's first cloned cat.

Through her encounters with scientists, conservationists, ethicists, and entrepreneurs, Anthes reveals that while some of our interventions may be trivial (behold: the GloFish), others could improve the lives of many species—including our own. So what does biotechnology really mean for the world's wild things? And what do our brave new beasts tell us about ourselves?

With keen insight and her trademark spunk, Anthes highlights both the peril and the promise of our scientific superpowers, taking us on an adventure into a world where our grandest science fiction fantasies are fast becoming reality.

"Narrator Hillary Huber manages to be both instructive and well paced in delivering these thought-provoking details about biotechnological advances." ---AudioFile

"From the creation of bioluminescent aquarium fish and cloned sheep to engineered lab rats and robotic roaches, the author shows how the lines between the natural and the synthetic world are being blurred by new research." ---Library Journal Audio Review

"The combination of narration and content will keep listeners engaged throughout the production." ---Publishers Weekly Audio Review

"An elegant tour of the wild and fraught sideshow of animal biotechnology." ---Kirkus

"Funny and fun." ---Library Journal

"[A] witty and thought-provoking book." ---Publishers Weekly

"Frankenstein's Cat is smart, lucid, and full of surprises. There was hardly a page that didn't contain something new or unexpected." ---Anne Fadiman, author of The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

Frankenstein's Cat

Cuddling Up to Biotech's Brave New Beasts

Author Emily Anthes

Narrated by Hillary Huber

Publication date Jun 24, 2013

Running time 6 hrs 23 min

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