SYNTHETIC HOW LIFE GOT MADE

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Synthetic

Author : Sophia Roosth
ISBN : 9780226440637
Genre : Science
File Size : 32.56 MB
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In the final years of the twentieth century, émigrés from engineering and computer science devoted themselves to biology and resolved that if the aim of biology is to understand life, then making life would yield better theories than experimentation. Armed with the latest biotechnology techniques, these scientists treated biological media as elements for design and manufacture: viruses named for computers, bacterial genomes encoding passages from James Joyce, chimeric yeast buckling under the metabolic strain of genes harvested from wormwood, petunias, and microbes from Icelandic thermal pools. In Synthetic: How Life Got Made, cultural anthropologist Sophia Roosth reveals how synthetic biologists make new living things in order to understand better how life works. The first book-length ethnographic study of this discipline, Synthetic documents the social, cultural, rhetorical, economic, and imaginative transformations biology has undergone in the post-genomic age. Roosth traces this new science from its origins at MIT to start-ups, laboratories, conferences, and hackers’ garages across the United States—even to contemporary efforts to resurrect extinct species. Her careful research reveals that rather than opening up a limitless new field, these biologists’ own experimental tactics circularly determine the biological features, theories, and limits they fasten upon. Exploring the life sciences emblematic of our time, Synthetic tells the origin story of the astonishing claim that biological making fosters biological knowing.
Category: Science

Synthetic

Author : Sophia Roosth
ISBN : 9780226440460
Genre : Science
File Size : 64.82 MB
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In the final years of the twentieth century, emigres from mechanical and electrical engineering and computer science resolved that if the aim of biology was to understand life, then making life would yield better theories than experimentation. Sophia Roosth, a cultural anthropologist, takes us into the world of these self-named synthetic biologists who, she shows, advocate not experiment but manufacture, not reduction but construction, not analysis but synthesis. Roosth reveals how synthetic biologists make new living things in order to understand better how life works. What we see through her careful questioning is that the biological features, theories, and limits they fasten upon are determined circularly by their own experimental tactics. This is a story of broad interest, because the active, interested making of the synthetic biologists is endemic to the sciences of our time."
Category: Science

Designing Human Practices

Author : Paul Rabinow
ISBN : 9780226703152
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 51.23 MB
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In 2006 anthropologists Paul Rabinow and Gaymon Bennett set out to rethink the role that human sciences play in biological research, creating the Human Practices division of the Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center—a facility established to create design standards for the engineering of new enzymes, genetic circuits, cells, and other biological entities—to formulate a new approach to the ethical, security, and philosophical considerations of controversial biological work. They sought not simply to act as watchdogs but to integrate the biosciences with their own discipline in a more fundamentally interdependent way, inventing a new, dynamic, and experimental anthropology that they could bring to bear on the center’s biological research. Designing Human Practices is a detailed account of this anthropological experiment and, ultimately, its rejection. It provides new insights into the possibilities and limitations of collaboration, and diagnoses the micro-politics which effectively constrained the potential for mutual scientific flourishing. Synthesizing multiple disciplines, including biology, genetics, anthropology, and philosophy, alongside a thorough examination of funding entities such as the National Science Foundation, Designing Human Practices pushes the social study of science into new and provocative territory, utilizing a real-world experience as a springboard for timely reflections on how the human and life sciences can and should transform each other.
Category: Social Science

What Is Life

Author : Edward Regis
ISBN : 9780195383416
Genre : Science
File Size : 82.92 MB
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Erwin Schrödinger's 1944 classic What Is Life? is a small book that occupies a large place among the great written works of the twentieth century. It is said that it helped launch the modern revolution in biology and genetics, and inspired a generation of scientists, including Watson and Crick, to explore the riddle of life itself. Now, more than sixty years later, science writer Ed Regis offers an intriguing look at where this quest stands today. Regis ranges widely here, illuminating many diverse efforts to solve one of science's great mysteries. He examines the genesis of Schrödinger's great book--which first debuted as three public lectures in Dublin--and details the fantastic reception his ideas received, both in Europe and America. Regis also introduces us to the work of a remarkable group of scientists who are attempting literally to create life from scratch, starting with molecular components that they hope to assemble into the world's first synthetic living cell. The book also examines how scientists have unlocked the "three secrets of life," describes the key role played by ATP ("the ultimate driving force of all life"), and outlines the many attempts to explain how life first arose on earth, a puzzle that has given birth to a wide range of theories (which Francis Crick dismissed as "too much speculation running after too few facts"), from the primordial sandwich theory, to the theory that life arose in clay, in deep-sea vents, or in oily bubbles at the seashore, right up to Freeman Dyson's "theory of double origins." Written in a lively and accessible style, and bringing together a wide range of cutting-edge research, What is Life? makes an illuminating contribution to this ancient and ever-fascinating debate.
Category: Science

Regenesis

Author : George M. Church
ISBN : 9780465038657
Genre : Science
File Size : 34.50 MB
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“Bold and provocative… Regenesis tells of recent advances that may soon yield endless supplies of renewable energy, increased longevity and the return of long-extinct species.”—New Scientist In Regenesis, Harvard biologist George Church and science writer Ed Regis explore the possibilities—and perils—of the emerging field of synthetic biology. Synthetic biology, in which living organisms are selectively altered by modifying substantial portions of their genomes, allows for the creation of entirely new species of organisms. These technologies—far from the out-of-control nightmare depicted in science fiction—have the power to improve human and animal health, increase our intelligence, enhance our memory, and even extend our life span. A breathtaking look at the potential of this world-changing technology, Regenesis is nothing less than a guide to the future of life.
Category: Science

Life At The Speed Of Light

Author : J. Craig Venter
ISBN : 9780143125907
Genre : Science
File Size : 80.17 MB
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The author of A Life Decoded explains how his team's achievement with sequencing the human genome has launched an important age of biological research, revealing a growing potential for enabling humans to adapt and evolve for long-term survival and environmental improvement.
Category: Science

Culturing Life

Author : Hannah Landecker
ISBN : 9780674039902
Genre : Science
File Size : 43.83 MB
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How did cells make the journey from their origin in living bodies to something that can be grown and manipulated on artificial media in the laboratory? This is the question at the heart of Hannah Landecker's book. She shows how cell culture changed the way we think about such central questions of the human condition as individuality, hybridity, and even immortality and asks what it means that we can remove cells from the spatial constraints of the body and "harness them to human intention."
Category: Science

Reordering Life

Author : Stephen Hilgartner
ISBN : 9780262338677
Genre : Science
File Size : 65.43 MB
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The rise of genomics engendered intense struggle over the control of knowledge. In Reordering Life, Stephen Hilgartner examines the "genomics revolution" and develops a novel approach to studying the dynamics of change in knowledge and control. Hilgartner focuses on the Human Genome Project (HGP) -- the symbolic and scientific centerpiece of the emerging field -- showing how problems of governance arose in concert with new knowledge and technology. Using a theoretical framework that analyzes "knowledge control regimes," Hilgartner investigates change in how control was secured, contested, allocated, resisted, justified, and reshaped as biological knowledge was transformed. Beyond illuminating genomics, Reordering Life sheds new light on broader issues about secrecy and openness in science, data access and ownership, and the politics of research communities. Drawing on real-time interviews and observations made during the HGP, Reordering Life describes the sociotechnical challenges and contentious issues that the genomics community faced throughout the project. Hilgartner analyzes how laboratories control access to data, biomaterials, plans, preliminary results, and rumors; compares conflicting visions of how to impose coordinating mechanisms; examines the repeated destabilization and restabilization of the regimes governing genome databases; and examines the fierce competition between the publicly funded HGP and the private company Celera Genomics. The result is at once a path-breaking study of a self-consciously revolutionary science, and a provocative analysis of how knowledge and control are reconfigured during transformative scientific change.
Category: Science

Materials And Expertise In Early Modern Europe

Author : Ursula Klein
ISBN : 9780226439709
Genre : Science
File Size : 57.83 MB
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It is often assumed that natural philosophy was the forerunner of early modern natural sciences. But where did these sciences’ systematic observation and experimentation get their starts? In Materials and Expertise in Early Modern Europe, the laboratories, workshops, and marketplaces emerge as arenas where hands-on experience united with higher learning. In an age when chemistry, mineralogy, geology, and botany intersected with mining, metallurgy, pharmacy, and gardening, materials were objects that crossed disciplines. Here, the contributors tell the stories of metals, clay, gunpowder, pigments, and foods, and thereby demonstrate the innovative practices of technical experts, the development of the consumer market, and the formation of the observational and experimental sciences in the early modern period. Materials and Expertise in Early Modern Europe showcases a broad variety of forms of knowledge, from ineffable bodily skills and technical competence to articulated know-how and connoisseurship, from methods of measuring, data gathering, and classification to analytical and theoretical knowledge. By exploring the hybrid expertise involved in the making, consumption, and promotion of various materials, and the fluid boundaries they traversed, the book offers an original perspective on important issues in the history of science, medicine, and technology.
Category: Science

Silent Spring

Author : Rachel Carson
ISBN : 0618249060
Genre : Nature
File Size : 56.77 MB
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Discusses the reckless annihilation of fish and birds by the use of pesticides and warns of the possible genetic effects on humans.
Category: Nature