Creating Life from Life : Biotechnology and Science Fiction book cover
1st Edition

Creating Life from Life
Biotechnology and Science Fiction

Edited By

Rosalyn W. Berne

ISBN 9789814463584
Published December 19, 2014 by Jenny Stanford Publishing
306 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations

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USD $105.00

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Book Description

This book is a collection of essays by scientists, historians, philosophers of science, and students. The essays meld biotechnology into science fiction stories and thereby open a conversation about the morality of what we may be one day, and what it may mean to be human as our biotechnological endeavors continue to evolve.

The biotechnology "revolution," launched on a global scale many decades ago, has taken a direct course toward re-creating life. Yet there are still many choices to be made in shaping the future that it may one day make possible. The book motivates readers toward deep reflection and continual discourse, which are essential if biotechnology is to evolve in ethical, meaningful, and sustainable ways.

Table of Contents

To Recreate Life out of Life: Biotechnology & Science Fiction

Part I. Introduction and History

Science-Story Dialectic as a Discourse of Change Rosalyn W. Berne
Science-science fiction dialectic as a discourse of change
Overview of book contributions
History of the Biotechnology Revolution Catherine Rhodes
Genetic Engineering
Genome Sequencing
Biotechnology Applications
The Industry

Part II. Understanding Problems & Approaching Cures
The "Vicious Cycle" of Obesity
Eduardo A. Nillni
Definition of obesity and our evolutionary traits
Our genetic make up over the course of evolution
Inflammation and ER stress changing the biochemistry of the brain.
Protein processing problems
Madeline Rosalyn W. Berne
Prion Diseases Joel A. Pedersen
Natural transmission of prion diseases
Transmission of prion diseases assisted by technology
Interspecies transmission to humans: The case of BSE
Transmission of CWD to humans: A cause for concern?
Transmission of other protein misfolding diseases
Carnivore’s Game Rosalyn W. Berne
Climate Change and the Future of Freshwater David L. Feldman
What is adaptation?
Megacities and freshwater
River basins and adaptation
Translating climate science
Negotiations Rosalyn W. Berne
Adult Stem Cells to Cure Diabetes-induced Vision Loss Shayn Peirce-Cottler, Ph.D.
The Role of Regenerative Medicine
Shadows, and Sugars, and Shades of Grey (Madeline, Part. 2) Rosalyn W. Berne

Part III. New Knowledge & New Capabilities

Neogenesis Reginald H. Garrett
Madness Enough to Break the World Sean Hays
Who Do They Think They Are? Reginald H. Garrett
Emmanuel Rosalyn W. Berne
Keys to Bioproducts from Agriculture Elizabeth Hood, PhD
Potential solutions: Technologies
Product example using the technologies
Soon They’ll Know our Secrets Rosalyn W. Berne
Dr. Hyde David Carmel
The Promise and Pitfalls of Cognitive Enhancement David Carmel
Build Me a Memory Nathaniel Cady

Part IV. On We Go. To Where, Who Knows?

The Uncertain Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution Catherine Rhodes
Specific Consequences of Biotechnology Applications
The Uneven Spread of Consequences
General Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution
Factors affecting the speed and direction of technological change and its socio-economic consequences
Rōnin Lena Nguyen
Closing Reflection on the Word "Revolution" Rosalyn W. Berne

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Rosalyn W. Berne is an associate professor at the Department of Engineering and Society in the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. She uses a dialectical methodology engaging multiple disciplines to understand the social-ethical implications of emerging scientific knowledge and technology. Creating Life from Life: Biotechnology and Science Fiction pairs scientific writing with companion sci-fi short stories in consideration of current biotechnology research. Prof. Berne’s previous books are Nanotalk: Conversations with Scientists and Engineers about Ethics, Meaning, and Belief in the Development of Nanotechnology (2006), which analyzes and interprets the content of conversations between her and 15 research scientists whose work takes place at the nanoscale, and Waiting in the Silence (2012), in which she uses science fiction to reflect on the convergence of nanotechnology /biotechnology/ information and cognitive sciences. Currently her research and writing are focused on the subject of interspecies communication.