Synthetic

How Life Got Made

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Author: Sophia Roosth

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022644046X

Category: Science

Page: 256

View: 7460

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."

Synthetic

How Life Got Made

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Author: Sophia Roosth

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022644063X

Category: Science

Page: 256

View: 8356

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.

Synthetic

How Life Got Made

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Author: Sophia Roosth

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226440323

Category: Science

Page: 256

View: 9497

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.

Life on Ice

A History of New Uses for Cold Blood

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Author: Joanna Radin

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022641731X

Category: History

Page: 305

View: 3455

Preface: frozen spirits -- Introduction: within cold blood -- The technoscience of life at low temperature -- Latent life in biomedicine's ice age -- Temporalities of salvage -- "As yet unknown": life for the future -- "Before it's too late": life from the past -- Collecting, maintaining, reusing, and returning -- Managing the cold chain: making life mobile -- When futures arrive: lives after time -- Epilogue: thawing spirits

A Life Decoded

My Genome: My Life

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Author: J. Craig Venter

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101202564

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 400

View: 7431

The triumphant memoir of the man behind one of the greatest feats in scientific history Of all the scientific achievements of the past century, perhaps none can match the deciphering of the human genetic code, both for its technical brilliance and for its implications for our future. In A Life Decoded, J. Craig Venter traces his rise from an uninspired student to one of the most fascinating and controversial figures in science today. Here, Venter relates the unparalleled drama of the quest to decode the human genome?a goal he predicted he could achieve years earlier and more cheaply than the government-sponsored Human Genome Project, and one that he fulfilled in 2001. A thrilling story of detection, A Life Decoded is also a revealing, and often troubling, look at how science is practiced today.

What is Life?

Investigating the Nature of Life in the Age of Synthetic Biology

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Author: Edward Regis

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0195383419

Category: Science

Page: 198

View: 3166

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.

Genetic Alchemy

The Social History of the Recombinant DNA Controversy

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Author: Sheldon Krimsky

Publisher: Mit Press

ISBN: 9780262610384

Category: Philosophy

Page: 445

View: 5669

Genetic Alchemy summarizes and clarifies the background of policy and ethical issues, the debates engendered by uncertain risks to researchers and the population at large, and the roles played by scientists involved in one of the most prominent and controversial new technologies, gene splicing. The author, Assistant Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy at Tufts University, brings to the topic his experience on the Cambridge Review Board as it considered the siting of a recombinant DNA research facility, and on the NIH's Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee.

Gene Editing, Law, and the Environment

Life Beyond the Human

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Author: Irus Braverman

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1351685880

Category: Law

Page: 216

View: 2718

Technologies like CRISPR and gene drives are ushering in a new era of genetic engineering, wherein the technical means to modify DNA are cheaper, faster, more accurate, more widely accessible, and with more far-reaching effects than ever before. These cutting-edge technologies raise legal, ethical, cultural, and ecological questions that are so broad and consequential for both human and other-than-human life that they can be difficult to grasp. What is clear, however, is that the power to directly alter not just a singular form of life but also the genetics of entire species and thus the composition of ecosystems is currently both inadequately regulated and undertheorized. In Gene Editing, Law, and the Environment, distinguished scholars from law, the life sciences, philosophy, environmental studies, science and technology studies, animal health, and religious studies examine what is at stake with these new biotechnologies for life and law, both human and beyond.

Zero Hunger

Political Culture and Antipoverty Policy in Northeast Brazil

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Author: Aaron Ansell

Publisher: UNC Press Books

ISBN: 1469613980

Category: Social Science

Page: 256

View: 1677

When Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil's Workers' Party soared to power in 2003, he promised to end hunger in the nation. In a vivid ethnography with an innovative approach to Brazilian politics, Aaron Ansell assesses President Lula's flagship antipoverty program, Zero Hunger (Fome Zero), focusing on its rollout among agricultural workers in the poor northeastern state of Piaui. Linking the administration's fight against poverty to a more subtle effort to change the region's political culture, Ansell rethinks the nature of patronage and provides a novel perspective on the state under Workers' Party rule. Aiming to strengthen democratic processes, frontline officials attempted to dismantle the long-standing patron-client relationships--Ansell identifies them as "intimate hierarchies--that bound poor people to local elites. Illuminating the symbolic techniques by which officials attempted to influence Zero Hunger beneficiaries' attitudes toward power, class, history, and ethnic identity, Ansell shows how the assault on patronage increased political awareness but also confused and alienated the program's participants. He suggests that, instead of condemning patronage, policymakers should harness the emotional energy of intimate hierarchies to better facilitate the participation of all citizens in political and economic development.

Vehicles

Experiments in Synthetic Psychology

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Author: Valentino Braitenberg

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 9780262521123

Category: Psychology

Page: 152

View: 7922

The "vehicles" described in this light-hearted yet wonderfully skillful exercise in fictional science are the inventions of one of the world's eminent brain researchers.

Silent Spring

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Author: Rachel Carson

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 9780618249060

Category: Nature

Page: 378

View: 8280

Discusses the reckless annihilation of fish and birds by the use of pesticides and warns of the possible genetic effects on humans.

Science in the Archives

Pasts, Presents, Futures

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Author: Lorraine Daston

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022643253X

Category: Science

Page: 392

View: 530

Archives bring to mind rooms filled with old papers and dusty artifacts. But for scientists, the detritus of the past can be a treasure trove of material vital to present and future research: fossils collected by geologists; data banks assembled by geneticists; weather diaries trawled by climate scientists; libraries visited by historians. These are the vital collections, assembled and maintained over decades, centuries, and even millennia, which define the sciences of the archives. With Science in the Archives, Lorraine Daston and her co-authors offer the first study of the important role that these archives play in the natural and human sciences. Reaching across disciplines and centuries, contributors cover episodes in the history of astronomy, geology, genetics, philology, climatology, medicine, and more—as well as fundamental practices such as collecting, retrieval, and data mining. Chapters cover topics ranging from doxology in Greco-Roman Antiquity to NSA surveillance techniques of the twenty-first century. Thoroughly exploring the practices, politics, economics, and potential of the sciences of the archives, this volume reveals the essential historical dimension of the sciences, while also adding a much-needed long-term perspective to contemporary debates over the uses of Big Data in science.

Regenesis

How Synthetic Biology Will Reinvent Nature and Ourselves

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Author: George M. Church,Ed Regis

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465038654

Category: Science

Page: 304

View: 4920

“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.

Reckoning with Matter

Calculating Machines, Innovation, and Thinking about Thinking from Pascal to Babbage

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Author: Matthew L. Jones

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022641163X

Category: Science

Page: 336

View: 7357

From Blaise Pascal in the 1600s to Charles Babbage in the first half of the nineteenth century, inventors struggled to create the first calculating machines. All failed—but that does not mean we cannot learn from the trail of ideas, correspondence, machines, and arguments they left behind. In Reckoning with Matter, Matthew L. Jones draws on the remarkably extensive and well-preserved records of the quest to explore the concrete processes involved in imagining, elaborating, testing, and building calculating machines. He explores the writings of philosophers, engineers, and craftspeople, showing how they thought about technical novelty, their distinctive areas of expertise, and ways they could coordinate their efforts. In doing so, Jones argues that the conceptions of creativity and making they exhibited are often more incisive—and more honest—than those that dominate our current legal, political, and aesthetic culture.

Synthetic Biology Handbook

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Author: Darren N. Nesbeth

Publisher: CRC Press

ISBN: 1466568488

Category: Medical

Page: 318

View: 839

The Synthetic Biology Handbook explains the major goals of the field of synthetic biology and presents the technical details of the latest advances made in achieving those goals. Offering a comprehensive overview of the current areas of focus in synthetic biology, this handbook: Explores the standardisation of classic molecular bioscience approaches Addresses the societal context and potential impacts of synthetic biology Discusses the use of legacy systems as tools for new product development Examines the design and construction of de novo cells and genetic codes Describes computational methods for designing genes and gene networks Thus, the Synthetic Biology Handbook provides an accurate sense of the scope of synthetic biology today. The handbook also affords readers with an opportunity to scrutinize the underlying science and decide for themselves what aspects of synthetic biology are most valuable to their research and practice.

Haeckel's Embryos

Images, Evolution, and Fraud

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Author: Nick Hopwood

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022604694X

Category: Art

Page: 388

View: 1185

Emphasizing the changes worked by circulation and copying, interpretation and debate, this book uses the case to explore how pictures succeed and fail, gain acceptance and spark controversy. It reveals how embryonic development was made a process that we can see, compare, and discuss, and how copying - usually dismissed as unoriginal

Pain, Pleasure, and the Greater Good

From the Panopticon to the Skinner Box and Beyond

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Author: Cathy Gere

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022650185X

Category: History

Page: 292

View: 9268

"Contents " -- "Introduction: Diving into the Wreck" -- "1. Trial of the Archangels" -- "2. Epicurus at the Scaffold" -- "3. Nasty, British, and Short" -- "4. The Monkey in the Panopticon" -- "5. In Which We Wonder Who Is Crazy" -- "6. Epicurus Unchained" -- "Afterword: The Restoration of the Monarchy" -- "Notes" -- "Bibliography

Biotechnology and Society

An Introduction

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Author: Hallam Stevens

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022604615X

Category: Science

Page: 352

View: 9609

With Biotechnology and Society, Hallam Stevens offers an up-to-date primer to help us understand the interactions of biotechnology and society and the debates, controversies, fears, and hopes that have shaped how we think about bodies, organisms, and life in the twenty-first century. Stevens addresses such topics as genetically modified foods, cloning, and stem cells; genetic testing and the potential for discrimination; fears of (and, in some cases, hopes for) designer babies; personal genomics; biosecurity; and biotech art. Taken as a whole, the book presents a clear, authoritative picture of the relationship between biotechnology and society today, and how our conceptions (and misconceptions) of it could shape future developments. It is an essential volume for students and scholars working with biotechnology, while still being accessible to the general reader interested in the truth behind breathless media accounts about biotech’s promise and perils.

Creating Life in the Lab

How New Discoveries in Synthetic Biology Make a Case for the Creator

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Author: Fazale Rana

Publisher: Baker Books

ISBN: 9781441214584

Category: Religion

Page: 240

View: 1241

Each year brings to light new scientific discoveries that have the power to either test our faith or strengthen it--most recently the news that scientists have created artificial life forms in the laboratory. If humans can create life, what does that mean for the creation story found in Scripture? Biochemist and Christian apologist Fazale Rana, for one, isn't worried. In Creating Life in the Lab, he details the fascinating quest for synthetic life and argues convincingly that when scientists succeed in creating life in the lab, they will unwittingly undermine the evolutionary explanation for the origin of life, demonstrating instead that undirected chemical processes cannot produce a living entity.

Becoming MIT

Moments of Decision

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Author: David Kaiser

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262113236

Category: Education

Page: 207

View: 910

The evolution of MIT, as seen in a series of crucial decisions over the years.