Dragons belong to the mythical beings that inhabit the mythical world of all regions of the world and should not be missing in modern fantasy stories. In fact, it never existed. Why it shouldn’t (and shouldn’t) stay that way in the future, explains an American father-and-daughter author. The reason for the joint book was a school project in which Julie Knopfler dealt with the question of how to make a real dragon using modern technology. Since her father, Paul Knoepfler, is a professor at UC Davis School of Medicine in Sacramento, researching stem cell technology and is also active as a popular science blogger and author, the idea for this book was born quickly.
Make fun of gene editing
First of all: you don’t have to take kite building guidelines too seriously. The creation of a new species of organism with the help of genetic engineering is not allowed and may also be socially undesirable, which of course the authors realize. In the introduction, they explained that the primary goal of their thought experiment was to introduce children and young people to the “wonderful” science while at the same time making fun of the “hype” surrounding new gene-editing methods. For example, the authors think a lot about the ways they could be killed while making their own dragon.
Despite the entertaining writing style aimed at young adults, the kite building instructions contain a concentrated amount of science that is easy to understand. Having decided on a large, flying, fire-breathing specimen after looking at different dragon species in Europe and Asia, the authors search the animal kingdom for a suitable “staging material” for individual characteristics such as the ability to fly and fire-breathing process. The differences in flight between birds, pterosaurs, bats, and even insects are discussed in detail and diagrams of different wing types are considered.
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