How Synthetic Biology Will Reinvent Nature and Ourselves

Book - 2012 | 1st ed.
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Imagine a future in which human beings have become immune to all viruses, in which bacteria can custom-produce everyday items, like a drinking cup, or generate enough electricity to end oil dependency. Building a house would entail no more work than planting a seed in the ground. These scenarios may seem far-fetched, but pioneering geneticist George Church and science writer Ed Regis show that synthetic biology is bringing us ever closer to making such visions a reality. In Regenesis , Church and 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. Until now, nature has been the exclusive arbiter of life, death, and evolution; with synthetic biology, we now have the potential to write our own biological future. Indeed, as Church and Regis show, iteven enables us to revisit crucial points in the evolution of life and, through synthetic biological techniques, choose different paths from those nature originally took. Such exploits will involve far more than just microbial tinkering. Full-blown genomic engineering will make possible incredible feats, from resurrecting woolly mammoths and other extinct organisms to creating mirror life forms with a molecular structure the opposite of our own. 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.
Publisher: New York : Basic Books, 2012.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780465021758
Branch Call Number: 572.86 CHURC
Characteristics: ix, 284 p. : ill.
Additional Contributors: Regis, Edward 1944-


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Nov 24, 2015

Well worth searching out and reading thought provoking and inspiring look at the present and the future. Wish that more books in this vein existed.

genericly generated me

Aug 08, 2015

Very readable and informative. I highly recommend this book if just for the last section which is worth thinking about and discussing with friends and family.
The Epigenetic Epilogue projects possible impacts on us all: natural vs exotic; at home vs. jet setting; personal vs. generic; privacy vs. publicity; singularity vs. multiarity; diversity vs. sustainability & safety. Will we become a new species?

Sep 26, 2014

This is one of my new favorite books. It's a life-changer, gave me a better understanding of many things in science. Author is a prolific scientist at the forefront of the subjects.

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