Life as We Made It: How 50,000 Years of Human Innovation Refined--And Redefined--Nature

Life as We Made It: How 50,000 Years of Human Innovation Refined--And Redefined--Nature

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From the first dog to the first beefalo, from farming to CRISPR, the human history of remaking nature

When the 2020 Nobel Prize was awarded to the inventors of CRISPR, the revolutionary gene-editing tool, it underlined our amazing and apparently novel powers to alter nature. But as biologist Beth Shapiro argues in Life as We Made It, this phenomenon isn't new. Humans have been reshaping the world around us for ages, from early dogs to modern bacteria modified to pump out insulin. Indeed, she claims, reshaping nature--resetting the course of evolution, ours and others'--is the essence of what our species does.

In exploring our evolutionary and cultural history, Shapiro finds a course for the future. If we have always been changing nature to help us survive and thrive, then we need to avoid naive arguments about how we might destroy it with our meddling, and instead ask how we can meddle better.

Brilliant and insightful, Life as We Made It is an essential book for the decades to come.


Author: Beth Shapiro
Publisher: Basic Books
Published: 10/19/2021
Pages: 352
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 1.20lbs
Size: 9.30h x 5.80w x 1.50d
ISBN: 9781541644182

Review Citation(s):
Publishers Weekly 08/30/2021
Booklist 10/01/2021 pg. 8

About the Author
Beth Shapiro is a professor of evolutionary biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where her work has centered on the analysis of ancient DNA. The author of How to Clone a Mammoth, which won the AAAS science writing award, she lives in Santa Cruz, California.