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Like a Virgin: How Science Is Redesigning the Rules of Sex [Kindle Edition]

Aarathi Prasad
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £12.99
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Book Description

Most cultures tell the tale of a maiden who gives birth untouched by a man. Is this just a myth, or could virgin birth become the way we make babies in the future? In Like a Virgin, biologist Aarathi Prasad explores inconceivable ideas about conception, from the “Jesus Christ” lizard’s ability to self-reproduce (it walks on water, too) to the hunt for a real-life virgin mother among geneticists in the 1950s. Prasad then transports us to the maverick laboratories that today are inventing the equivalent of “non-sexual selection”, from egg-fertilizing computer chips to artificial wombs for men. This adventurous romp to the frontiers of reproductive science will forever change the way you think about sex and parenthood. Aarathi Prasad is a biologist and science writer. She has appeared on television and radio, including as host of the BBC documentary “The Quest for a Virgin Birth,” and written for publications such as Wired, New Scientist, and The Guardian. A single mother, she previously worked in research genetics at Imperial College, London. This is her first book.

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Review

“Aarathi Prasad has travelled far into the mysterious land of human and animal conception and come back with extraordinary stories of chimaeras and parthenogens, of cannibal sharks in the womb, of pseudosperm and the prospect of birth without pregnancy. A fascinating book.”
Matt Ridley, bestselling author of The Red Queen

“It’s game over for the testicle; the reign of bollocks is at an end. Prasad charts the high road to total male redundancy. In the future, girls will do it for themselves, boys – those who are left – will just be toys. Cheer or weep, but read this book.”
Armand Marie Leroi, author of Mutants

“Think of her as the female equivalent of Brian Cox making science accessible for the masses ... Entertaining and provocative, this promises to change the way you think about sex.”
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Review

"Aarathi Prasad has travelled far into the mysterious land of human and animal conception and come back with extraordinary stories of chimaeras and Parthenogens, of cannibal sharks in the womb, of pseudosperm and the prospect of birth without pregnancy. A fascinating book."

(Matt Ridley - author of The Rational Optimist and The Red Queen)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "how science is redesigning the rules of sex" 2 Jun. 2014
Format:Paperback
Like A Virgin is an incredibly fascinating non-fiction book about how a virgin birth could be possible. Many ideas are explored, and are attempted to be explained. Many historical figures are also used, for example with the use of (William) Harvey in The Renaissance;
“Harvey believed that all life came from eggs: not just for birds, which was obvious, but for mammals too.”
Harvey offered a different approach than most other scientists, who, at the time, believed that all life came from sperm.

The tale of how Mary produced a child from a virgin birth (without the use of a man/sperm) was also attempted to be explained. No conclusive evidence will ever be made, however, because she has been dead for thousands of years.

We also learn about how men could ever bear children, which is completely fascinating, there are also case studies of where a womb is transplanted.

In order to read this, you need a little bit of knowledge about the human body, for example how the reproductive organs function (and other organs too). Although, if you don't you can still infer a lot of information from the explanations. But many things aren't explained.

While LaV is full of interesting information, it is written dully. Where you're interested in the topic, but the way it's delivered isn't very appealing, and I often found myself engaging in other activities while reading. I read a chapter a day, which is a fair pace for this type of book. However, I found myself becoming bored half-way through.

But, I have to say LaV is really fascinating book, filled with information about fertility, and twins, and many other items- There's even an index in the back. It is also written really well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Informative! 21 Jun. 2014
By kclam
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Vividly written, this book demystifies natural birth and presents a new way of making babies including virgin birth. Virgin births are happening throughout the animal kingdom (e.g. tiny insects, fish, birds and reptiles). But, ironically for human, the virgin parent will more likely be a man. The newest reproductive technology (artificial wombs and artificial eggs) seem to give men more potential than women to make a bay without the opposite sex.

By the way, it is interesting to note the biological possibilities for Jesus Christ could have been born to a Virgin Mary!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Badly needs proofing. 27 Dec. 2012
By Damian
Format:Paperback
I was gifted this from a friend who also agreed with the fact the book is in bad need having somebody read over it and carrying out a spell and grammar check. I made it half way through chapter 2 and had to put it down, it was just far too infuriating for me. Two stars is being generous, if I'd have read the rest of the book then maybe it would have been enlightening, I just didn't have the patience for it though.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite books 5 Jun. 2013
By PI
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I wish I could give this a 6. We forget sometimes how fast science is changing and some of the ideas in here are mind-blowing. I have already recommended it to numerous friends
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