Cancer, Viruses, and Mass Migration: Paul Berg's Venture into Eukaryotic Biology and the Advent of Recombinant DNA Research and Technology, 1967-1980 [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of the History of Biology 41 (4):589 - 636 (2008)
The existing literature on the development of recombinant DNA technology and genetic engineering tends to focus on Stanley Cohen and Herbert Boyer's recombinant DNA cloning technology and its commercialization starting in the mid-1970s. Historians of science, however, have pointedly noted that experimental procedures for making recombinant DNA molecules were initially developed by Stanford biochemist Paul Berg and his colleagues, Peter Lobban and A. Dale Kaiser in the early 1970s. This paper, recognizing the uneasy disjuncture between scientific authorship and legal invention in the history of recombinant DNA technology, investigates the development of recombinant DNA technology in its full scientific context. I do so by focusing on Stanford biochemist Berg's research on the genetic regulation of higher organisms. As I hope to demonstrate, Berg's new venture reflected a mass migration of biomedical researchers as they shifted from studying prokaryotic organisms like bacteria to studying eukaryotic organisms like mammalian and human cells. It was out of this boundary crossing from prokaryotic to eukaryotic systems through virus model systems that recombinant DNA technology and other significant new research techniques and agendas emerged. Indeed, in their attempt to reconstitute 'life' as a research technology, Stanford biochemists' recombinant DNA research recast genes as a sequence that could be rewritten thorough biochemical operations. The last part of this paper shifts focus from recombinant DNA technology's academic origins to its transformation into a genetic engineering technology by examining the wide range of experimental hybridizations which occurred as techniques and knowledge circulated between Stanford biochemists and the Bay Area's experimentalists. Situating their interchange in a dense research network based at Stanford's biochemistry department, this paper helps to revise the canonized history of genetic engineering's origins that emerged during the patenting of Cohen-Boyer's recombinant DNA cloning procedures.
|Keywords||Paul Berg recombinant DNA technology genetic engineering cancer research lysogeny eukaryotic biology Nixon’s war on cancer biotechnology|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Miguel García-Sancho (2011). Academic and Molecular Matrices: A Study of the Transformations of Connective Tissue Research at the University of Manchester (1947–1996). [REVIEW] Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 42 (2):233-245.
Miguel García-Sancho (2012). From the Genetic to the Computer Program: The Historicity of 'Data' and 'Computation' in the Investigations on the Nematode Worm C. Elegans (1963–1998). [REVIEW] Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (1):16-28.
Jérôme Pierrel (2012). An RNA Phage Lab: MS2 in Walter Fiers' Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Ghent, From Genetic Code to Gene and Genome, 1963-1976. [REVIEW] Journal of the History of Biology 45 (1):109 - 138.
Tulley Long (2009). William McElroy, the McCollum—Pratt Institute, and the Transformation of Biology at Johns Hopkins, 1945–1960. Journal of the History of Biology 42 (4):765 - 809.
Maureen A. O'Malley, Kevin C. Elliott & Richard M. Burian (2010). From Genetic to Genomic Regulation: Iterativity in microRNA Research. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 41 (4):407-417.
Similar books and articles
Sanford A. Lakoff (1980). Moral Responsibility and the "Galilean Imperative":A Double Image of the Double Helix: The Recombinant DNA Debate. Clifford Grobstein; Regulation of Scientific Inquiry: Social Concerns with Research. Keith M. Wulff; Recombinant DNA: Science, Ethics, and Politics. John Richards; The Recombinant DNA Debate. David A. Jackson, Stephen P. Stich; A Nation of Guinea Pigs: The Unknown Risks of Chemical Technology. Marshall S. Shapo; Limits of Scientific Inquiry. Gerald Holton, Robert S. Morrison. [REVIEW] Ethics 91 (1):100-.
Michael J. Flower (1981). Taking DNA to Market and Regulatory Default. Bioethics Quarterly 3 (2):112-127.
Kenneth F. Schaffner (1994). Interactions Among Theory, Experiment, and Technology in Molecular Biology. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:192 - 205.
Liebe F. Cavalieri (1981/1985). The Double-Edged Helix: Genetic Engineering in the Real World. Praeger.
Ken Christensen (1978). Local Control of Recombinant DNA Research ? Only for Accidents? Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 6 (2):4-6.
Nicholas Wade (2001). Reporting Recombinant DNA. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 44 (2):192-198.
Benjamin Freedman (1980). Leviticus and DNA: A Very Old Look at a Very New Problem. Journal of Religious Ethics 8 (1):105 - 113.
S. Raeburn (1991). Proceed with Caution: Predicting Genetic Risks in the Recombinant DNA Era. Journal of Medical Ethics 17 (4):221-222.
Daniel Steiner (1980). Technology Transfer at Harvard University. Bioethics Quarterly 2 (4):203-211.
Liebe F. Cavalieri (1981). The Double-Edged Helix: Science in the Real World. Columbia University Press.
Robert Wake (1982). There Are Few Hazards in Recombinant Dna Research Abstract. In D. R. Oldroyd (ed.), Science and Ethics: Papers Presented at a Symposium Held Under the Aegis of the Australian Academy of Science, University of New South Wales, November 7, 1980. New South Wales University Press.
M. Richards (2001). How Distinctive is Genetic Information? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 32 (4):663-687.
Stephen P. Stich (1978). The Recombinant DNA Debate. Philosophy and Public Affairs 7 (3):187-205.
Added to index2011-05-29
Total downloads6 ( #202,094 of 1,099,037 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #114,795 of 1,099,037 )
How can I increase my downloads?