Books et al.Synthetic Biology

Our synthetic moment

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Science  17 Mar 2017:
Vol. 355, Issue 6330, pp. 1136
DOI: 10.1126/science.aam6893

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"It is at times hard to distill that which unites the people and projects that travel under the name 'synthetic biology,'" Sophia Roosth notes in Synthetic: How Life Got Made, but that doesn't stop her from following the field in flux, tracking "brave new organisms" (and those who make them) through classrooms and industrial laboratories from Boston to the Bay Area and from neighborhood bars to far-flung conferences. A chimera of anthropology bred with a dash of history, Synthetic reads synthetic biology's constructs both as "materialized theories" and as "postcards from a particular cultural moment."