#BookBlitz “The New Eugenics: Modifying Biological Life in the Twenty-First Century” by Conrad B. Quintyn, Ph.D.

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Modifying Biological Life in the Twenty-First Century

Non-fiction, Science, Biology, Biotechnology, Genetic Engineering,
Medical

Published: May 2021

Publisher: Archway Publishing

 

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 Genetic engineering, although used with good intentions in many cases, upsets the balance of nature in unknown ways. The author considers whether genetic engineering used today to prevent and repair ‘defects’ in all humans (the new eugenics) will exacerbate social injustices and/or lead to a public safety issue.

For instance:

1. In 2012, virologists in the U.S. and the Netherlands genetically engineered avian (bird) flu to be more transmissible between mammals. These scientists argued that virus transmission between mammals enables them to make vaccines to prevent pandemics.

2. In vitro fertilization is being combined with preimplantation genetic diagnosis to design babies (i.e., eye color, larger muscles, height, intelligence, etc.).

3. Scientists have enabled pigs to be organ farms for humans using genetic editing.

If this engineered flu virus accidentally got out of the laboratory (remember, we humans are mammals), it could have caused a pandemic similar to COVID-19. Will designer babies, as they mature, feel a sense of superiority and/or pass on mutations with disadvantageous effects to future generations? Should we ignore the risk of zoonotic (animal) diseases for the potential benefits of reducing the shortage of organs? Increasingly, scientists believe improving the health and safety of humankind justifies
the risk of playing God. Scientific advancement, if not guided responsibly and with public input, can be detrimental to public safety.

Join the author as he considers whether scientists are playing God as well as the risks we face by altering genetics in The New Eugenics.

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 Praise for The New Eugenics:

“The New Eugenics: Modifying Biological Life in the 21st Century by
Conrad B. Quintyn is a non-fiction science book that takes a deep look into
the ethics of gene manipulation and its implementation across a broad range
of fronts…I believe the middle ground is covered well by Quintyn when he
writes, “Technology should be used to help solve problems, as long as
humans do not become slaves to it.”” Jamie Michele of
Readers’Favorite

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“In The New Eugenics: Modifying Biological Life in the 21st Century,
Dr. Conrad B. Quintyn builds a discussion on how eugenics is being used in
the twenty-first century, and along with it are the moral implications and
socio-political debates that it faces…Quintyn also shows us the lessons of
history and even literary works of fiction on the wrongs of the past and the
folly of misguided and unregulated experiments.” Vincent Dublado,
freelance journalist and editorial assistant of The Diplomat digital
magazine (thediplomat.com).

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“This survey of the present and future of genetic engineering sounds a
powerful, persuasive alarm to science-minded readers.” BookLife

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“In this book, the author considers the ethical implications of new
eugenics and asks the question: What are the limits of genetic engineering
and how do we know when and where to draw the line.” Christian Sia of
Readers’Favorite

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“An impressively thorough survey of the development of biotechnology
and the potential dangers it poses.” Kirkus Reviews

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  Excerpt

Chapter 7

Crossing the Rubicon: Therapy versus Elective Enhancement

 pp. 158-161

In this age of light speed advances in biotechnology, particularly genetic engineering, some bioethicists have recalled Nazi doctors and the singular nature of the Nazi “medicine” that they practiced. But many scholars have also invoked horror stories and their fictional characters, such as Frankenstein and his monster or Dr. Moreau and his half-human/half-animal creatures, like yellow traffic lights indicating caution. They also want to emphasize to the public the dangers posed by misguided or unregulated experiments or technology. A good approach is that taken by British science writer Jon Turney, who framed the problem so that everyone can make sense of their relationship with technology: “My premise is that fictional representations matter, that the science and technology we ultimately see are partly shaped by the images of the work which exist outside the confines of the laboratory report or the scientific paper.”[i] Put simply, science does not occur in a vacuum; it
interacts with the greater culture, both shaping and being shaped by public perceptions.

In Frankenstein, British author Mary Shelley told the story of young medical student Victor Frankenstein, who is obsessed with uncovering the “elixir of life.”[ii] Sharing his unfortunate story with Mr.Walton, captain of the ship that has rescued him from the Arctic ice, Frankenstein remarks:

 Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, which I should first break
through, and pour a torrent of light into our dark world. … Pursuing
these reflections, I thought, that if I could bestow animation upon lifeless
matter, I might in the process of time … renew life where death had
apparently devoted the body to corruption.[iii]

Prior to this time, to test his hypothesis, Frankenstein constructs a human body from parts of dismembered corpses and animates it with electricity using lightning. On seeing the corpse come to life, Frankenstein is horrified. Regretting his mistake—“the wretch—the
miserable monster whom I had created”— Frankenstein runs away, rejecting his  creation.[iv] Obviously, Shelley was knowledgeable of the new science of the Enlightenment. And her complex narrative could have been a caution to scientists that they had a moral responsibility to use their science to do no harm and not violate nature. Essentially, she believed that scientists should not use their knowledge to play God.

Another British author, H. G. Wells, told a story with similar philosophical themes, including moral responsibility and violation of nature.7 Wells told the story—through his protagonist Edward Prendick—of the obsessed, immoral, formerly eminent British
physiologist Dr. Moreau whose gruesome experiments in gross anatomy (known
as vivisection in pre-twentieth-century literature) are publicly exposed.8
As a result, Moreau is forced to flee to an island in the South Pacific.
Prendick survives a shipwreck and is rescued by, and becomes a guest of, the captain of a ship. He is subsequently transported to “the island” and, in turn, becomes a reluctant guest of Mr. Montgomery, Moreau’s assistant.9 Wandering alone on the island, Prendick is
shocked when he encounters half-human/half-animal creatures. Eventually, he surmises that Moreau has been performing painful experiments, based on the loud cries he frequently hears coming from Moreau’s laboratory.10
Later, he learns that Moreau has performed experiments to convert humans to animals. However, Moreau makes a point of correcting Prendick, expressing the fact that he (Moreau) has been striving to make a complete transformation of animal to human.11

It is probably not fair to equate these science fiction novels and their flawed characters with modern scientists. As stressed throughout this book, most scientists are honorable men and women working very hard to help humankind and obtain some fame and fortune in the process. But it is interesting that, initially, Frankenstein (like modern scientists) has
honorable intentions: “I entered with the greatest diligence into the search of the philosopher’s stone and the elixir of life. But the latter obtained my most undivided attention … but what glory would attend the discovery, if I could banish disease from the human frame, and render man invulnerable to any but a violent death!”12 (italics added). And Dr. Moreau, driven by the successes in the final stage of his research, believes that the pain he has inflicted has been insignificant to the final goal: the benefits of the work outweigh the risks.13 These attitudes are common among scientists, and in countries where regulation is lax, some of these scientists might be tempted to cross the line.

There are many therapeutic treatments in medicine, some of which are available to healthy individuals as elective enhancements. As such, the concern is for therapeutic and nontherapeutic enhancements that impact animal and human physiology or genetics. These enhancements, as discussed at the beginning of this book, usher in a new type of eugenics. Ultimately, the concern here is any research (e.g., animal-human hybrids, chimeras, xenotransplantation, organic bioelectronics, gene editing, gene therapy, or
complex chemicals that alter body physiology) that crosses the boundary into the realm of the unknown, invoking the monsters of Frankenstein and Moreau and leading to the questioning of human identity.

The mixing of human and animal genetic material has a long history in biology.14 For instance, the fusion of human and animal cells to create somatic cell hybrids was a technique first used in the 1970s and 1980s to illuminate the interactions between nuclear and mitochondrial genomes. At about the same time, the United Kingdom’s HFEA licensed the transfer of human sperm to hamster eggs, thus creating a hybrid, as a diagnostic test for the quality of human sperm.15 Today, scientists argue that the hostility
of the public toard embryo destruction, coupled with the decreasing availability of human eggs, has compelled them to find alternative means, such as interspecies cloning (merging human somatic cells with eggs from other species or transplanting human iPSCs in animal embryos to advance studies in regenerative medicine).16

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About the Author

Conrad B. Quintyn is an associate professor of biological anthropology at Bloomsburg University, Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. He earned a B.A. from Baylor University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. He
taught at Iowa State University and SUNY Oswego. He was a biological anthropologist for the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency located on Hickam
Air Force Base, Honolulu, Hawaii. His interests include forensic anthropology, worldwide postcranial variation, evolutionary biology, genetic engineering, medical genetics, the problem of species, and the evolution of human diseases.
 

 

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#ReleaseBlitz “Prince of the Fallen (Record of the Sentinel Seer: Book 1)” by M.H. Woodscourt

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Record of the Sentinel Seer: Book One

Adult/Science-Fantasy

 

Date Published: October 21, 2021

Publisher: True North Press

Abandoned in the wilderness as a child, Lekore lives with ghosts and fallen gods. Everything changes when he summons fire to rescue a traveling princess and her entourage. Wounded, he’s brought to a civilization unlike anything he’s ever known.

Caught in a net of silk and secrets, Lekore finds himself ensnared by court intrigue, midnight assassins, and a deviant faction of the Church of the Sun Gods—all hunting his blood and power.

He just wants to find the man who deserted him, until a storm rises out of the north, furious enough to destroy the city and outlying lands. Now Lekore must find the source of its wrath, deep in the wilds of the deadly Lands Beyond, if only he can flee a city that won’t let him escape.

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About the Author

Writer of fantasy, magic weaver, dragon rider! Having spent the past 20 years devotedly writing fantasy, it’s safe to say M. H. Woodscourt is now more fae than human.

All of her fantasy worlds connect with each other in a broad Universe, forged with great love and no small measure of blood, sweat, and tears. When she’s not writing, she’s napping or reading a book with a mug of hot cocoa close at hand while her quirky cat Wynter nibbles her toes.

Learn more at www.mhwoodscourt.com

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“Who Laid the Egg?” by Audrey Sauble

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Who Laid the Egg?

by Audrey Sauble

Genre: Children/Science, Nature & How It Works/Frogs/Turtles

Free at time of posting! Kindle Unlimited!

Did a dinosaur lay the egg? Did a chicken lay the egg? Can you guess who laid the egg?

Discover some of the wonderful egg-laying animals in our world with this simple, easy-to-read story! Who Laid the Egg? introduces children to a delightful assortment of animals through a fun, interactive guessing-game in the style of Mo Willems’ Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus.

In this early science story, young readers can guess which animal laid each egg–and learn what their nests and eggs look like. Enjoy the warm, realistic pictures as you ‘read along’ together and meet an ostrich, a chicken, a frog, a turtle, as well as other, more unexpected creatures!

For ages from 1 to 4 years-old: babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.

Also available in French and Spanish.

Amazon KU

“My Dad, the Earth Warrior” by Gary Haq

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My Dad, the Earth Warrior

by Gary Haq, Mark Beech (Illustrator)

Genre: Science, Nature and How-it-Works/Ecology/Environment

99¢ at time of posting!

One boy.

A geeky dad.

A freak accident!

Dad wakes up from a bump to head claiming to be an Earth Warrior sent to protect Mother Earth – and is soon up against a ruthless energy tycoon.

Hero is forced to go along with Dad’s new persona. And when Gran mysteriously disappears, Hero and Dad embark on a dangerous rescue mission.

Can Hero save Gran and his old dad back before it’s too late?

My Dad, the Earth Warrior is an extraordinary heart-warming and funny tale of a Dad and son on a thrilling mission to save Mother Earth! It is a story of personal growth, environment and discovering the warrior spirit that lies in all of us.

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“Night-Night Airplanes: (Bedtime Book, Book for Kids 2-5 Years Old, Toddler Book, bedtime books for toddlers) (Sean 4)” by Amanda Hembrow

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Night-Night Airplanes: (Bedtime Book, Book for Kids 2-5 Years Old, Toddler Book, Bedtime Book for Toddlers) (Sean 4)

by Amanda Hembrow

Genre: Children/Science & How Things Work/Aviation/Airplanes

FREE at time of posting! Kindle Unlimited!

Does your child like planes, helicopters, biplanes, and other aircraft? If so, your child will enjoy this bedtime story.

Sean got a new airplane. He plays with it all day long, during dinner and bath time, and even at night he wants the plane to be close. He invents stories and asks his parents many questions. Of course, they know all the answers, they honestly do. Little aircraft fans might find this short, real life story appealing. They might even learn something new, but most importantly, this story will help your child fall asleep.

Purchase a paperback copy with COLORING & ACTIVITY PAGES and get the Kindle version FREE! (Kindle Match Book)

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“Sophie Washington: Hurricane” by Tonya Duncan Ellis

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Sophie Washington: Hurricane

by Tonya Duncan Ellis

Genre: Children/African-American/Science, Nature & Weather/How It Works

99¢ at time of posting! KINDLE COUNTDOWN! (Ending soon!)

An Amazon Best Selling Book for Kids

Are you ready for the hurricane? Strap in for an entertaining, illustrated middle grade chapter book full of fun, laughs and excitement.
A hurricane’s coming and sixth grader Sophie’s life of school work and friends is about to make a major change. One day she’s teasing her little brother, Cole, dodging classmate Nathan Jones’ wayward science lab frog and complaining about “braggamuffin” cheerleader Valentina Martinez, and the next, she and her family are fleeing for their lives to avoid dangerous flood waters. In the middle of it all, Sophie learns to be grateful for what she has and that she is stronger than she ever imagined.
Here’s what Goodreads readers say about the Sophie Washington: Hurricane:
“Hurricane is an exceptionally well-written children’s book with many interesting references to modern technology, current events and popular culture, making it a relevant and relatable story for secondary school aged readers. Highly recommended!”
“I loved all the characters and the way they reacted to the situations.”
“I thought it handled the subject of a natural disaster from the eyes of a child very well.”
“What a great series for younger readers! I enjoyed the story and the characters. Real life challenges in today’s world.”

This is the fifth book in the Readers’ Favorite five star rated Sophie Washington book series that includes:
Sophie Washington: Queen of the Bee (Book 1)
Sophie Washington: The Snitch (Book 2)
Sophie Washington: Things You Didn’t Know About Sophie (Book 3)
Sophie Washington: The Gamer (Book 4)
Sophie Washington: Hurricane (Book 5)

Kids Ages 7-12

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“Hidden Figures Young Readers’ Editions” by Margot Lee Shetterly

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Hidden Figures Young Readers’ Edition

by Margot Lee Shetterly

Genre: Children/Nonfiction/Science/Education & Reference/Math

1.99 at time of posting! FREE on Kindle FreeTime Unlimited!

The uplifting, amazing true story—a New York Times bestseller

This edition of Margot Lee Shetterly’s acclaimed book is perfect for young readers. It is the powerful story of four African-American female mathematicians at NASA who helped achieve some of the greatest moments in our space program. Now a major motion picture starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kirsten Dunst, and Kevin Costner.

Before John Glenn orbited the earth, or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as “human computers” used pencils, slide rules, and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space.

This book brings to life the stories of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden, who lived through the Civil Rights era, the Space Race, the Cold War, and the movement for gender equality, and whose work forever changed the face of NASA and the country.

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“Fancy Nancy: Too Many Tutus (I Can Read Level 1)” by Jane O’Conner

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Fancy Nancy: Too Many Tutus (I Can Read Level 1)

by Jane O’Connor

Genre: Children’s/Science & Nature/Girls & Women

1.99 at time of posting!

FREE on Kindle FreeTimeUnlimited

Fancy Nancy’s closet is bulging (that’s a fancy way of saying it won’t close). Nancy’s mom thinks she should give away some of her tutus—but Nancy knows a fancy girl can never have too many tutus! But when Ms. Glass tells her class they will have a fancy swap-and-shop at school, will Nancy bring in some tutus to trade? And what happens when she finds the tutu of her dreams?

Following in the footsteps of all Fancy Nancy I Can Reads, Fancy Nancy: Too Many Tutus will delight beginning readers—and tiny, tutu-wearing fans will agree: There’s no such thing as too many tutus!

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