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Mammutens återkomst by Torill Kornfeldt
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Mammutens återkomst

by Torill Kornfeldt

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Summary: With a hefty dose of skepticism, Torill Kornfeldt interviewed several scientists who are trying various methods to clone or genetically reinvent extinct animals – mostly for the sake of recovering their ecological purpose (for instance, mammoths knock down trees and stomp down permafrost, passenger pigeons devastate forests with the same (but less threatening) ecological benefits of forest fires, etc.) Kornfeldt briefly describes the science behind each project, but does not go into a lot of detail, so the book is good for someone who has very little science background.

My thoughts: I’m a little torn about bringing back extinct species. My instinct is against introducing potential “invasive species” which might not act exactly the same as the original animals did. There is, also, the worry that creating new animals will somehow create new viruses that can move to humans – though that may be worrying too much. Overall, I think the book was well-written and interesting, though it could have been more engaging at times. I liked Kornfeldt’s mixture of awe and skepticism, which managed to present both sides of the story well. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in endangered species, as it really does provide some interesting food for thought. ( )
  The_Hibernator | Nov 7, 2018 |
[T]here are a surprising number of [...] projects that aim to bring back more recently vanished wild animals, from the woolly mammoth to the Pyrenean ibex. Advances in gene-editing technology promise to make “de‑extinction” a potentially viable enterprise, but what exactly is the point? To answer this question, the Swedish science journalist Torill Kornfeldt has travelled to meet the researchers involved for this excellent book, written with a deceptively light touch (in Fiona Graham’s translation), that raises a number of deep questions and paradoxes about our relationship with nature.
added by anglemark | editThe Guardian, Steven Poole (Jul 28, 2018)
 
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