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Synthetic – How Life Got Made - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Synthetic: How Life Got Made

Sophia Roosth


Life is not what it used to be. Synthetic is an anthropological story about how it got that way. Living things bearing genomes streamlined or cobbled together from synthesized DNA now scurry, swim, and flourish in test tubes and bioreactors: viruses named for computer software, bacteria encoding passages of James Joyce, yeast buckling under the metabolic strain of genes harvested from sweet wormwood, petunias, and microbes from Icelandic thermal pools. This bestiary is the creation of synthetic biologists: émigrés from mechanical and electrical engineering and computer science who, in the fina ... More

Keywords: life, synthetic biology, manufacture, construction, analysis, synthesis, artifice, kinship, property, labor

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780226440323
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226440637.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Sophia Roosth, author
Harvard University