Life as We Made It

Life as We Made It: How 50,000 years of human innovation refined – and redefined – nature

From the very first dog to glowing fish and designer pigs – the human history of remaking nature.

Virus-free mosquitoes, resurrected dinosaurs, designer humans – such is the power of the science of tomorrow. But this idea that we have only recently begun to manipulate the natural world is false. We’ve been meddling with nature since the last ice age. It’s just that we’re getting better at it – a lot better.

Drawing on decades of research, Beth Shapiro reveals the surprisingly long history of human intervention in evolution through hunting, domesticating, polluting, hybridizing, conserving and genetically modifying life on Earth. Looking ahead to the future, she casts aside the scaremongering myths on the dangers of interference, and outlines the true risks and incredible opportunities that new biotechnologies will offer us in the years ahead. Not only do they present us with the chance to improve our own lives, but they increase the likelihood that we will continue to live in a rich and biologically diverse world.