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From The CriticsA few years ago, when Monsanto created a strain of genetically modified corn that was resistant to caterpillars, the media suggested that scientists were inventing "frankenfoods" and playing God in their laboratories. Hubbell points out that humans have always tinkered with the world to make it better suit our needs and tastes, including changing the basic genetic programming of other species. The author tells the story of a few plants and animals (including the cat) that wouldn't exist but for genetic modification and selective breeding. With verve and wit, Hubbell reveals just how deeply the natural order is entangled with human hopes and ambitions, and her book provides a context for the current debate over the proper limits of genetic research. Fascinating and delightful, this is natural-history writing at its finest.