Biomedia by Thacker, Eugene

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By Thacker, Eugene

As biotechnology defines the recent millennium, genetic codes and desktop codes more and more merge—life understood as information, flesh rendered programmable. the place this pattern will take us, and what it might probably suggest, is what matters Eugene Thacker during this well timed e-book, a penetrating inspect the intersection of molecular biology and laptop technology in our day and its most probably ramifications for the longer term.

Integrating methods from technological know-how and media stories, Biomedia is a serious research of study fields that discover relationships among biologies and applied sciences, among genetic and desktop "codes." In doing so, the booklet appears past the universal examples of cloning, genetic engineering, and gene therapy—fields in response to the centrality of DNA or genes—to rising fields within which "life" is frequently understood as "information." Focusing specially on interactions among genetic and machine codes, or among "life" and "information," Thacker exhibits how every one form of "body" produced—from biochip to DNA computer—demonstrates how molecular biology and laptop technological know-how are interwoven to supply specified technique of figuring out and controlling dwelling subject.

Throughout, Thacker offers in-depth debts of theoretical concerns implicit in biotechnical artifacts—issues that come up within the fields of bioinformatics, proteomics, platforms biology, and biocomputing. study in biotechnology, Biomedia indicates, flouts our assumptions concerning the department among organic and technological structures. New methods of wondering this department are wanted if we're to appreciate the cultural, social, and philosophical dimensions of such learn, and this publication marks an important enhance within the coming highbrow revolution

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Again, it is not simply the sequence itself that is extended from the digital to the biological domain; in this process of decoding, it is the capacity for a can- What Is Biomedia? 25 didate sequence to function as a gene (that is, transcription, translation, gene expression) that enables its decoding across media, across platforms. Of course, not all patterns of relationships are viable across media; only those that are viable across media will fulfill the aim of biomedia, which is to enable a cross-platform compatibility for selected patterns of relationships.

This cannot be overstated. " Anytime we encounter this technical recontextualization of biological processes, we have an instance of biomedia. No steam machines, no cyborgic fusions of metal and flesh, no Turing machines, machine intelligence, or black boxes— only the technical design of the conditions in which "natural" biological processes can occur in novel contexts. Again, we would be wrong in thinking that a sufficiently advanced technology makes metaphor unnecessary; the current "bioinformatic phase" of the genetic code is not about the ability of technology to illuminate the vagueness of metaphor.

Bioinformatics, as its name indicates, is an intersection of molecular biology and computer science in bioscience research. "12 However, bioinformatics is also a business. 15 As both a set of practices and an industry, bioinformatics has three main sectors. The first is software development, with companies such as Spotfire, MDL, and Silicon Genetics providing stand-alone applications (often sold as suites), and others, such as eLab and eBioinformatics, offering Web-based tools. Second, the software development side is also connected to the development and management of databases and hard- 36 Bioinformatics Figure 3.

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