Books  Animal & General Biology  Biochemistry & Molecular Biology 

A Machine to Make a Future: Biotech Chronicles

By: P Rainbow and T Dan-Cohen

208 pages, 8 Bw illus

Princeton University Press

Hardback | Jan 2005 | #150364 | ISBN: 0691120501
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £23.95 $31/€29 approx

About this book

A look at the present, and possible future of, biotechnology research in the wake of the mapping of the human genome. The central tenet of Celera Diagnostics, the California biotech company whose formative work during 2003 is the focus of the book, is that the emergent knowledge about the genome, with its profound implications for human health, can now be turned into a powerful diagnostic apparatus - one that will yield breakthrough diagnostic and therapeutic products (and, potentially, profit). Celera's efforts, assuming they succeed, may fundamentally reshape the fabric of how health and health care are understood, practiced, and managed.

The strength of Rabinow's approach is that we hear the voices of scientists at work. Not only do they describe the science itself, but they also provide their perception of its importance. Rabinow is a skillful interviewer who elicits motivation from his subjects. We are given a rare glimpse into the professional lives of the participants and the energy that drives their scientific and personal decisions. -- William A. Haseltine Science Paul Rabinow is the leading anthropologist of contemporary biotechnology... It would be easy for him to use his authority to apportion praise and blame, or to develop a magisterial contribution to anthropological theory. But [he] resists coming to artificially neat conclusions... This book's compelling insights should be required reading for everyone who pictures themselves a scientific entrepreneur, or who cares about the state of contemporary science. -- Christine Hine New Scientist A Machine to Make a Future by Paul Rabinow and Talia Dan-Cohen, a book as impressive as the previous two works in Rainbow's biotechnology trilogy ... Is an in-depth and well-constructed anthropological chronicle of this new Californian scientific enterprise. With his student Talia Dan-Cohen, Rabinow has provided a highly readable account of Celera Diagnostics' formative period ... through a series of lengthy but insightful interviews with the original researchers. -- Xuefeng Bruce Ling The Journal of Clinical Investigation This book is a good choice for even a layperson to get a grip on the current developments in the world of genomics and how these diagnostics can help health and health care. -- Rukmini Rajagopalan Current Science This book may signal an entirely new way of viewing scientific innovation in a globalized, competitive environment, integrating new technologies and methodological insights. logy Digest [Paul Rabinow's] interviews are expertly conducted and provide a rich resource that can be mined from a variety of perspectives--including scientific, business, legal, ethical, and philosophical. -- George Jannas Quarterly Review of Biology


Contents

Overture: A MACHINE TO MAKE A FUTURE 1 Chapter One: ENDING AND BEGINNING 13 Chapter Two: THE STATE OF THINGS AT CELERA DIAGNOSTICS, EXPLAINED TO INVESTORS AND TO ANTHROPOLOGISTS 38 Chapter Three: THE MACHINERY AND ITS STEWARDS 62 Chapter Four: ETHICAL AND SOCIAL CONSULTANCY 97 Chapter Five: CONFIDENCE AND TRUST 111 Chapter Six: MODELS ORIENT, TECHNOLOGIES PERFORM, SAMPLES SPEAK (OR VICE VERSA) 144 Chapter Seven: SUMMER 2003 169 Illustrations 187 Appendix: A CORPORATE HISTORY 189 Notes 191 Glossary 195

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Biography

Paul Rabinow is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. His many books include "French DNA, Making PCR", and "Anthropos Today" (Princeton). Talia Dan-Cohen received a B.A. in anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley.

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