Tuesday, March 31, 2015

New Titles

 
1) Eareckson Kelley, Lisa. The Antarctic Dive Guide: Fully Revised and Updated Third edition. 2015. Princeton University Press. Paperback: 144 pages. Price: $29.95 U.S. 
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: The Antarctic Dive Guide is the first and only dive guide to the seventh continent, until recently the exclusive realm of scientific and military divers. Today, however, the icy waters of Antarctica have become the extreme destination for recreational divers wishing to explore beyond the conventional and observe the strange marine life that abounds below the surface. This book is packed with information about the history of diving in Antarctica and its wildlife, and features stunning underwater photography.
     The Antarctic Dive Guide
covers 31 key dive sites on the Antarctic Peninsula and South Georgia and includes maps and detailed guidance on how best to explore each site. Essential information is also provided on how to choose and prepare for travel to this remote region, and diving techniques for subzero waters. This book is an indispensable resource for anyone considering diving in Antarctica, and an exciting read for anyone interested in this little-explored underwater world. 
RECOMMENDATION: A must have for anyone diving the region.


2) Shapiro, Beth. How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction. 2015. Princeton University Press. Hardbound: 220 pages. Price: $24.95 U.S.

PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: Could extinct species, like mammoths and passenger pigeons, be brought back to life? The science says yes. In How to Clone a Mammoth, Beth Shapiro, evolutionary biologist and pioneer in "ancient DNA" research, walks readers through the astonishing and controversial process of de-extinction. From deciding which species should be restored, to sequencing their genomes, to anticipating how revived populations might be overseen in the wild, Shapiro vividly explores the extraordinary cutting-edge science that is being used--today--to resurrect the past. Journeying to far-flung Siberian locales in search of ice age bones and delving into her own research--as well as those of fellow experts such as Svante Pääbo, George Church, and Craig Venter--Shapiro considers de-extinction's practical benefits and ethical challenges. Would de-extinction change the way we live? Is this really cloning? What are the costs and risks? And what is the ultimate goal?
     Using DNA collected from remains as a genetic blueprint, scientists aim to engineer extinct traits--traits that evolved by natural selection over thousands of years--into living organisms. But rather than viewing de-extinction as a way to restore one particular species, Shapiro argues that the overarching goal should be the revitalization and stabilization of contemporary ecosystems. For example, elephants with genes modified to express mammoth traits could expand into the Arctic, re-establishing lost productivity to the tundra ecosystem.
     Looking at the very real and compelling science behind an idea once seen as science fiction, How to Clone a Mammoth demonstrates how de-extinction will redefine conservation's future. 
RECOMMENDATION: A readable overview of the subject.

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