Top positive review
on 30 July 2013
Anthes is a science writer and she is good at her trade, although she should avoid the occasional twee aside. In this book, she examines how scientists from a variety of disciplines seek to redesign and control animals. Their work ranges is from the frivolous (glow-in-dark fish) to the potentially life-saving drugs that can be secreted into goats' milk. Many of the interventions, such as prosthetics and tagging, are designed to help animals but there seem to be whole university departments inflicting pointless pain and indignity on them. Experimenting on primates and dogs is now seen as beyond the pale but rats and insects are fair game. The author doesn't shrink from looking at the ethical issues but does't offer her own opinions. Altogether, this is an interesting and informative book and unlike many writers of popular science, she actually went out and talked to the people she was writing about. She even went to visit a cloned cat which looked and behaved like any other moggie, so that experiment was presumably a success.