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In Context #32 (Fall, 2014)
Feature ArticleWhen Engineers Take Hold of Life: Synthetic Biology
by Craig Holdrege
What happens when genetic engineers, becoming yet more ambitious, begin to envision the synthesis of altogether new life forms, using Lego block-like “BioBricks”? The ambition may be foolish, but huge resources are now being devoted to it, with grave implications for the biological future.
Notes and ReviewsExploring the Exploratorium in San Francisco
by Henrike Holdrege
The Exploratorium is perhaps the most famous “science learning museum” in the world. What is the actual experience of visitors there? Henrike went to San Francisco to find out for herself.
by Craig Holdrege
Craig is impressed by a book reviewing the evidence for an overall evolutionary trend among animals toward increasing autonomy, which includes an internalization of many functions, a greater capacity for self-regulation and more flexibility in behavior.
by Stephen L. Talbott
Thinking in biology hasn’t caught up with the results of contemporary research. In particular, an apparent taboo against any explicit acknowledgment of intention and agency in the cell and organism is a serious block to further progress in understanding.
News from the Institute
Read about activities at The Nature Institute and by Nature Institute staff. You will also find here (on page 10) an important notice about an opportunity for a learning adventure with naturalists Craig Holdrege and Mark Riegner in the Amazon River basin (June 1 – 12, 2015).
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