Aarathi Prasad is a biologist and science writer. She has appeared on TV and radio programmes, including as presenter of Channel 4’s controversial ‘Is It Better to Be Mixed Race?’ and ‘Brave New World with Stephen Hawking’, as well as BBC Radio 4’s ‘The Quest for Virgin Birth’, and written for Wired, the Guardian, and many other publications. Previously a cancer genetics researcher at Imperial College London, she subsequently moved into the worlds of science communication and policy, in areas including passage of the human-animal chimaera stem-cell bill in the UK Parliament. A single mother, Dr Prasad lives in London.
Books by Aarathi Prasad
How Science Is Redesigning the Rules of Sex
Most cultures tell the tale of a maiden who gives birth untouched by a man. Is this just a myth, or could virgin birth be the way we make babies in the future?
In Like a Virgin, biologist Aarathi Prasad looks at inconceivable ideas about conception, from the “Jesus Christ” lizard’s ability to self-reproduce (it walks on water, too) to the tabloid hunt for a real-life virgin mother by geneticists in the 1950s. Prasad then transports us to the maverick laboratories that today are inventing the equivalent of “non-sexual selection”, from mother-to-daughter womb transplants to egg-fertilizing computer chips, from sperm replacements for women to silicone wombs for men.
"The female equivalent of Brain Cox… Entertaining and provocative."
Stylist.co.uk, Hottest Debuts of 2012
"A fascinating examination of a future that may not be too distant, as well as an account of historical misconceptions about conception."
"[Prasad's] elegantly written romp through the science and history of conception is conceivably as much fun as you’ll ever have thinking about sex without working up a sweat."
"Aarathi Prasad has travelled far into the mysterious land of human and animal conception and come back with extraordinary stories of chimaeras and Parthenogens, of cannibal sharks in the womb, of pseudosperm and the prospect of birth without pregnancy. A fascinating book."
Matt Ridley, author of The Rational Optimist and The Red Queen
"It’s game over for the testicle... Prasad charts the high road to total male redundancy. In the future, girls will do it for themselves, boys – those who are left – will just be toys. Cheer or weep, but read this book."
Armand Leroi, author of Mutants and Professor of Evolutionary Developmental Biology at Imperial College London