Synthetic

How Life Got Made

Author: Sophia Roosth

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022644063X

Category: Science

Page: 256

View: 8985

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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.
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Vital Forms

Biological Art, Architecture, and the Dependencies of Life

Author: Jennifer Johung

Publisher: U of Minnesota Press

ISBN: 1452960283

Category: Architecture

Page: 200

View: 4212

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Shows how the intersection of biotech, art, and architecture are transforming the world we live in As living matter becomes more and more the domain of art and architecture, the life sciences are enabling a major cultural and aesthetic transformation. Vital Forms explores how the intersection of biology, art, and architecture has transformed these disciplines, offering heretofore unimagined possibilities. Using numerous case studies, Jennifer Johung explores how art and architecture are reimagining life on cellular and subcellular levels. In the process, she maps the constantly evolving dependencies that exist between objects, bodies, and environments. From Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr’s Tissue Culture and Art Project, which developed “semi-living worry dolls,” to Patricia Piccinini’s imagined Still Life with Stem Cells, each chapter pairs a branch of contemporary biological inquiry with the artists who are revolutionizing it. Examining cutting-edge developments in biotechnological research—including tissue-engineering, stem cell science, regenerative medicine, and more—Vital Forms brings biological art and architecture into critical dialogue. Distinguished by its broad range and Johung’s synthesizing talents, Vital Forms makes powerful observations about how the unfolding dependencies between all kinds of matter are becoming vital to life in our age of biotechnological manipulations.
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Frankenstein: How A Monster Became an Icon: The Science and Enduring Allure of Mary Shelley's Creation

Author: Sidney Perkowitz,Eddy von Mueller

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1681776979

Category: Social Science

Page: 384

View: 595

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Few creations have risen from literary origins to reach world-wide importance like Frankenstein. This landmark volume celebrates the bicentenary of Mary Shelley's creation and its indelible impact on art and culture. The tale of a tormented creature created in a laboratory began on a rainy night in 1816 in the imagination of a nineteen-year-old Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, newly married to the celebrated Romantic poet Percy Shelley. Since its publication two years later, in 1818, Frankenstein: Or, the Modern Prometheus has spread around the globe through every possible medium and variation. Frankenstein has not been out of print once in 200 years. It has appeared in hundreds of editions, perhaps more than any other novel. It has inspired a multitude of stage and screen adaptations, the latest appearing just last year. “Frankenstein” has become an indelible part of popular culture, and is shorthand for anything bizarre and human-made; for instance, genetically modified crops are “Frankenfood.” Conversely, Frankenstein’s monster has also become a benign Halloween favorite. Yet for all its long history, Frankenstein's central premise—that science, not magic or God, can create a living being, and thus these creators must answer for their actions as humans, not Gods—is most relevant today as scientists approach creating synthetic life. In its popular and cultural weight and its expression of the ethical issues raised by the advance of science, physicist Sidney Perkowitz and film expert Eddy von Muller have brought together scholars and scientists, artists and directions—including Mel Brooks—to celebrate and examine Mary Shelley’s marvelous creation and its legacy as the monster moves into his next century.
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Fables and Futures

Biotechnology, Disability, and the Stories We Tell Ourselves

Author: George Estreich

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262039567

Category: Science

Page: 240

View: 1515

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How new biomedical technologies—from prenatal testing to gene-editing techniques—require us to imagine who counts as human and what it means to belong. From next-generation prenatal tests, to virtual children, to the genome-editing tool CRISPR-Cas9, new biotechnologies grant us unprecedented power to predict and shape future people. That power implies a question about belonging: which people, which variations, will we welcome? How will we square new biotech advances with the real but fragile gains for people with disabilities—especially when their voices are all but absent from the conversation? This book explores that conversation, the troubled territory where biotechnology and disability meet. In it, George Estreich—an award-winning poet and memoirist, and the father of a young woman with Down syndrome—delves into popular representations of cutting-edge biotech: websites advertising next-generation prenatal tests, feature articles on “three-parent IVF,” a scientist's memoir of constructing a semisynthetic cell, and more. As Estreich shows, each new application of biotechnology is accompanied by a persuasive story, one that minimizes downsides and promises enormous benefits. In this story, people with disabilities are both invisible and essential: a key promise of new technologies is that disability will be repaired or prevented. In chapters that blend personal narrative and scholarship, Estreich restores disability to our narratives of technology. He also considers broader themes: the place of people with disabilities in a world built for the able; the echoes of eugenic history in the genomic present; and the equation of intellect and human value. Examining the stories we tell ourselves, the fables already creating our futures, Estreich argues that, given biotech that can select and shape who we are, we need to imagine, as broadly as possible, what it means to belong.
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The Routledge Companion to Biology in Art and Architecture

Author: Charissa N. Terranova,Meredith Tromble

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

ISBN: 1317419510

Category: Architecture

Page: 546

View: 9497

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The Routledge Companion to Biology in Art and Architecture collects thirty essays from a transdisciplinary array of experts on biology in art and architecture. The book presents a diversity of hybrid art-and-science thinking, revealing how science and culture are interwoven. The book situates bioart and bioarchitecture within an expanded field of biology in art, architecture, and design. It proposes an emergent field of biocreativity and outlines its historical and theoretical foundations from the perspective of artists, architects, designers, scientists, historians, and theoreticians. Includes over 150 black and white images.
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Don't Tell the Groom

a perfect feel-good romantic comedy!

Author: Anna Bell

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 1848663625

Category: Fiction

Page: 208

View: 2219

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'Fantastic, funny, unputdownable!' Amazon reviewer. A laugh-out-loud romantic comedy perfect for fans of Holly Martin and Joanna Bolouri. Penny has big dreams for her wedding day. She has been saving for ages to make her dream a reality. So when Mark finally pops the question, it's the best moment of her life. But when she checks her wedding fund she is horrified to discover that something has gone terribly wrong. And so, operation 'Don't Tell the Groom' rolls into action, with surprising, hilarious and moving results. Will Penny be able to keep her secret long enough to say 'I do'?
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The Quantum Conspiracy

A Novel of Possibilities

Author: Chuck Robison,Karen Robison

Publisher: John Hunt Publishing

ISBN: 1846947510

Category: Fiction

Page: 320

View: 4029

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The Quantum Conspiracy explores the global shift in consciousness that is being fueled by evolution theory, the appearance of remarkable children being born who reveal a new DNA-like shift, and the threats posed by a potential nuclear war and environmental degradation.
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Synthetic Planet

Chemical Politics and the Hazards of Modern Life

Author: Monica J. Casper

Publisher: Psychology Press

ISBN: 9780415933551

Category: Health & Fitness

Page: 320

View: 5815

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Provides a collection of essays that document the use of synthetic chemicals and their effect on the environment, the human body, and the community.
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