Thursday, 21 March 2013 15:38

Emily Anthes author of Frankenstein's Cat will join Jon and Talkin' Pets to discuss and give away her book at 5 PM EST Featured

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“An elegant tour of the wild and fraught sideshow of animal biotechnology . . . Anthes lays out the facts, but it is still up to readers to decide which side of the ethical divide they will fall on. Learned, entertaining and illuminating.” Kirkus Reviews

Frankenstein’s Cat

Cuddling Up to Biotech’s

Brave New Beasts


Emily Anthes

All over the world, strange new creatures are hatching. Consider Mr. Green Genes, an odd cat born in a New Orleans lab. This feline has ordinary downy orange fur, but under ultraviolet light, his soft pink nose turns neon green. The insides of his ears and the whitesor greensof his eyes also glow brightly, his face emerging from the dark like a modern-day Cheshire Cat. Elsewhere, cyborg rats with microchips fastened to their protruding brains are being guidedlike remote-controlled toysaround laboratory obstacle courses. Scientists are creating chickens that lay eggs containing lifesaving drugs, pigeons that transmit data about air pollution, and beetles wired up to perform wartime surveillance.

Science has created a whole new toolbox for shaping the world’s wild things, and scientists can now tinker with genes, turning a small stretch of DNA on or off or transferring bits of biological code between species. They can use tiny electronic devices to turn animals into cyborgs, supplementing their natural senses and capabilities. There hasn’t been this much innovation surrounding other species since they were first domesticated millennia ago. Today scientists, as well as entrepreneurs, are reimagining and reinventing animals.

Biotechnology can be used for the good of animals, but, as in the case of prosthetics, the technology can also jump across species barriers. By enhancing animals, we are already discovering ways to make ourselves smarter and stronger, faster and fitter, healthier and happier. Between the rise in diabetes, which can lead to amputations, and ongoing wars, the number of human amputees is predicted to grow by 40 percent by 2020. The breakthroughs prosthetists are making with injured animals could improve prosthetic devices for humans. A material developed for use with a tailless dolphin is already being used in the prostheses of amputee athletes, and a procedure first used to give cats and dogs bionic limbs is currently being tested in humans.

The world described in the Frankenstein’s Cat—a world including everything from cloned pets to cyborg insectsis not part of some distant sci fi future. It’s already happening. There are cutting-edge animals living in fields, homes, and nature preserves across America. Moral and ethical debates about animal alterations can make or break a new product or technology. Anthes argues that if we reject these technologies wholesale, we’ll lose the good as well as the bad.

Emily Anthes is a journalist whose work has appeared in Wired, Psychology Today, Slate, Scientific American, The Boston Globe, and other publications. She holds a master’s degree in science writing from MIT and a bachelor’s degree in the history of science and medicine from Yale. She lives in Brooklyn with her dog, Milo.

Frankenstein’s Cat, by Emily Anthes, will be published in hardcover by Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux on March 12, 2013 | ISBN: 978-0-374-15859-0| $26.00.

For more information, |

Emily Anthes will be touring to the following cities:

03/11: Portland, OR

7:00 p.m.

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Science Pub night @ the Bagdad Theater

03/14: Seattle, WA

7:30 p.m.

Town Hall

03/19: Washington, DC

7:00 p.m.

Politics & Prose

03/26: New York City, NY

7:00 p.m.

KGB Reading Series

03/29: Brooklyn, NY

8:00 p.m.


04/09: Westport, CT

7:30 p.m.

Westport Public Library

04/17: Cambridge, MA

7:00 p.m.

Museum of Science and Nerd Nite Boston at Middlesex Lounge

04/18: Cambridge, MA

7:00 p.m.

MIT Graduate Program in Science Writing

06/01: Arlington, VA

5:30 p.m.

One More Page Books

07/17: New York City, NY

6:30 PM

New York Public Library, Mid-Manhattan Branch

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Jon Patch

Graduated from Penn State University in 1983 and landed my first broadcasting job at the flagship station to SUN Radio Network in St. Petersburg, FL as a producer of talk radio. In 3 months advanced to a network producer, then on air as a national eventually local weather reporter for the Tampa Bay area. Held a position in management as a trainer to new hosts and producers and later Affiliate Relations Manager, eventually in 1990 started hosting, Talkin' Pets. Left SUN radio several years later and worked with USA Radio Networks for 1 year. I worked with Business TalkRadio & Lifestyle TalkRadio Networks for19 years under the title of V.P. Affiliate Relations and Programming, later worked with Genesis Communications until starting a new network ATRN.  Currently working with GAB Radio Network and with Josh Leng at Talk Media Network.  I am still hosting the largest and longest running pet radio and internet show in the country, Talkin' Pets, for the past 29 years... My one true passion in life is to help to educate the world through interviews with celebrities like Betty White, Tippi Hedren, Bob Barker, Linda Blair and others, authors, foundations and organizations like the ASPCA, LCA, HSUS, AHA, WSPA on the ways to make this world a better place for all animals and mankind whom all share this very fragile and mysterious planet called earth. This is the only home we have so we all need to learn how to share and maintain it so that life for us all continues and evolves forever... | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.