Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (2):346-364 (2002)
|Abstract||Every day, in laboratories in countries all around the globe, molecular biologists and their technical assistants manufacture new organisms. Some of these organisms are chimeras, expressing quite different properties in different clusters of their cells – flies or mice, for example, that contain both male and female tissues. Others are designed as factories for the manufacture of specific substances; thus it’s routine to build bacteria with special genetic fragments inserted into them, and to use the organisms so engineered to churn out large quantities of proteins for medical, agricultural, or experimental purposes. This wide-ranging ability to create new forms of life depends on representations of biologically significant molecules, nucleic acids and proteins. The bio-engineers draw on maps that show the arrangement of genes, on reams of printout that identify the sequences of bases in particular regions of DNA, on pictures of molecular structures and on general claims about DNA replication, transcription, and translation.|
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