ordinary genomes science citizenship and genetic identities experimental futures technological lives scientific arts anthropological voices

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Ordinary Genomes

Author : Karen-Sue Taussig
ISBN : 9780822391036
Genre : Science
File Size : 26. 14 MB
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Ordinary Genomes is an ethnography of genomics, a global scientific enterprise, as it is understood and practiced in the Netherlands. Karen-Sue Taussig’s analysis of the Dutch case illustrates how scientific knowledge and culture are entwined: Genetics may transform society, but society also transforms genetics. Taussig traces the experiences of Dutch people as they encounter genetics in research labs, clinics, the media, and everyday life. Through vivid descriptions of specific diagnostic processes, she illuminates the open and evolving nature of genetic categories, the ways that abnormal genetic diagnoses are normalized, and the ways that race, ethnicity, gender, and religion inform diagnoses. Taussig contends that in the Netherlands ideas about genetics are shaped by the desire for ordinariness and the commitment to tolerance, two highly-valued yet sometimes contradictory Dutch social ideals, as well as by Dutch history and concerns about immigration and European unification. She argues that the Dutch enable a social ideal of tolerance by demarcating and containing difference so as to minimize its social threat. It is within this particular construction of tolerance that the Dutch manage the meaning of genetic difference.

Surviving Against The Odds

Author : S. Ann Dunham
ISBN : 9780822392613
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 65. 50 MB
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Read the foreword by Mara Soetoro-Ng President Barack Obama’s mother, S. Ann Dunham, was an economic anthropologist and rural development consultant who worked in several countries including Indonesia. Dunham received her doctorate in 1992. She died in 1995, at the age of 52, before having the opportunity to revise her dissertation for publication, as she had planned. Dunham’s dissertation adviser Alice G. Dewey and her fellow graduate student Nancy I. Cooper undertook the revisions at the request of Dunham’s daughter, Maya Soetoro-Ng. The result is Surviving against the Odds, a book based on Dunham’s research over a period of fourteen years among the rural metalworkers of Java, the island home to nearly half Indonesia’s population. Surviving against the Odds reflects Dunham’s commitment to helping small-scale village industries survive; her pragmatic, non-ideological approach to research and problem solving; and her impressive command of history, economic data, and development policy. Along with photographs of Dunham, the book includes many pictures taken by her in Indonesia. After Dunham married Lolo Soetoro in 1967, she and her six-year-old son, Barack Obama, moved from Hawai‘i to Soetoro’s home in Jakarta, where Maya Soetoro was born three years later. Barack returned to Hawai‘i to attend school in 1971. Dedicated to Dunham’s mother Madelyn, her adviser Alice, and “Barack and Maya, who seldom complained when their mother was in the field,” Surviving against the Odds centers on the metalworking industries in the Javanese village of Kajar. Focusing attention on the small rural industries overlooked by many scholars, Dunham argued that wet-rice cultivation was not the only viable economic activity in rural Southeast Asia. Surviving against the Odds includes a preface by the editors, Alice G. Dewey and Nancy I. Cooper, and a foreword by her daughter Maya Soetoro-Ng, each of which discusses Dunham and her career. In his afterword, the anthropologist and Indonesianist Robert W. Hefner explores the content of Surviving against the Odds, its relation to anthropology when it was researched and written, and its continuing relevance today.

Life Out Of Sequence

Author : Hallam Stevens
ISBN : 9780226080345
Genre : Science
File Size : 54. 41 MB
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Thirty years ago, the most likely place to find a biologist was standing at a laboratory bench, peering down a microscope, surrounded by flasks of chemicals and petri dishes full of bacteria. Today, you are just as likely to find him or her in a room that looks more like an office, poring over lines of code on computer screens. The use of computers in biology has radically transformed who biologists are, what they do, and how they understand life. In Life Out of Sequence, Hallam Stevens looks inside this new landscape of digital scientific work. Stevens chronicles the emergence of bioinformatics—the mode of working across and between biology, computing, mathematics, and statistics—from the 1960s to the present, seeking to understand how knowledge about life is made in and through virtual spaces. He shows how scientific data moves from living organisms into DNA sequencing machines, through software, and into databases, images, and scientific publications. What he reveals is a biology very different from the one of predigital days: a biology that includes not only biologists but also highly interdisciplinary teams of managers and workers; a biology that is more centered on DNA sequencing, but one that understands sequence in terms of dynamic cascades and highly interconnected networks. Life Out of Sequence thus offers the computational biology community welcome context for their own work while also giving the public a frontline perspective of what is going on in this rapidly changing field.

Plastic Reason

Author : Tobias Rees
ISBN : 9780520288126
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 60. 26 MB
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Throughout the twentieth century, neuronal researchers knew the adult human brain to be a thoroughly fixed and immutable cellular structure, devoid of any developmental potential. Plastic Reason is a study of the efforts of a few Parisian neurobiologists to overturn this rigid conception of the central nervous system by showing that basic embryogenetic processes—most spectacularly the emergence of new cellular tissue in the form of new neurons, axons, dendrites, and synapses—continue in the mature brain. Furthermore, these researchers sought to demonstrate that the new tissues are still unspecific and hence literally plastic, and that this cellular plasticity is constitutive of the possibility of the human. Plastic Reason, grounded in years of fieldwork and historical research, is an anthropologist’s account of what has arguably been one of the most sweeping events in the history of brain research—the highly contested effort to consider the adult brain in embryogenetic terms. A careful analysis of the disproving of an established truth, it reveals the turmoil that such a disruption brings about and the emergence of new possibilities of thinking and knowing.

Reel World

Author : Anand Pandian
ISBN : 082235957X
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 49. 51 MB
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Reel World explores what happens to life when everything begins to look and feel like cinema. Drawing on years of fieldwork with Tamil filmmakers, artists, musicians, and craftsmen in the south Indian movie studios of "Kollywood," Anand Pandian examines how ordinary moments become elements of a cinematic world. With inventive, experimental, and sometimes comical zeal, Pandian pursues the sensory richness of cinematic experience and the adventure of a writing true to these sensations. Thinking with the visceral power of sound and image, his stories also broach deeply philosophical themes such as desire, time, wonder, and imagination. In a spirit devoted to the turbulence and uncertainty of genesis, Reel World brings into focus an ecology of creative process: the many forces, feelings, beings, and things that infuse human endeavors with transformative potential.

Poverty And The Quest For Life

Author : Bhrigupati Singh
ISBN : 022619454X
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 41. 34 MB
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The Indian subdistrict of Shahabad, located in the dwindling forests of the southeastern tip of Rajasthan, is an area of extreme poverty. Beset by droughts and food shortages in recent years, it is the home of the Sahariyas, former bonded laborers, officially classified as Rajasthan’s only “primitive tribe.” From afar, we might consider this the bleakest of the bleak, but in Poverty and the Quest for Life, Bhrigupati Singh asks us to reconsider just what quality of life means. He shows how the Sahariyas conceive of aspiration, advancement, and vitality in both material and spiritual terms, and how such bridging can engender new possibilities of life. Singh organizes his study around two themes: power and ethics, through which he explores a complex terrain of material and spiritual forces. Authority remains contested, whether in divine or human forms; the state is both despised and desired; high and low castes negotiate new ways of living together, in conflict but also cooperation; new gods move across rival social groups; animals and plants leave their tracks on human subjectivity and religiosity; and the potential for vitality persists even as natural resources steadily disappear. Studying this milieu, Singh offers new ways of thinking beyond the religion-secularism and nature-culture dichotomies, juxtaposing questions about quality of life with political theologies of sovereignty, neighborliness, and ethics, in the process painting a rich portrait of perseverance and fragility in contemporary rural India.

Metabolic Living

Author : Harris Solomon
ISBN : 082236087X
Genre :
File Size : 82. 95 MB
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In "Metabolic Living" Harris Solomon studies obesity and diabetes in Mumbai, India, presenting a new narrative of metabolic illness in which it is less about the overconsumption of food than it is about the body's relationship to its environment and the substances it absorbs."

Traces Of The Future

Author : Paul Wenzel Geissler
ISBN : 1783207256
Genre : History
File Size : 32. 71 MB
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This book presents a close look at the vestiges of twentieth-century medical work at five key sites in Africa: Senegal, Nigeria, Cameroon, Kenya, and Tanzania. The authors aim to understand the afterlife of scientific institutions and practices and the "aftertime" of scientific modernity and its attendant visions of progress and transformation. Straightforward scholarly work is juxtaposed here with altogether more experimental approaches to fieldwork and analysis, including interview fragments; brief, reflective essays; and a rich photographic archive. The result is an unprecedented view of the lingering traces of medical science from Africa's past.

Seizing The Means Of Reproduction

Author : Michelle Murphy
ISBN : 9780822353362
Genre : Science
File Size : 23. 94 MB
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In Seizing the Means of Reproduction, Michelle Murphy's initial focus on the alternative health practices developed by radical feminists in the United States during the 1970s and 1980s opens into a sophisticated analysis of the transnational entanglements of American empire, population control, neoliberalism, and late-twentieth-century feminisms. Murphy concentrates on the technoscientific means—the technologies, practices, protocols, and processes—developed by feminist health activists. She argues that by politicizing the technical details of reproductive health, alternative feminist practices aimed at empowering women were also integral to late-twentieth-century biopolitics. Murphy traces the transnational circulation of cheap, do-it-yourself health interventions, highlighting the uneasy links between economic logics, new forms of racialized governance, U.S. imperialism, family planning, and the rise of NGOs. In the twenty-first century, feminist health projects have followed complex and discomforting itineraries. The practices and ideologies of alternative health projects have found their way into World Bank guidelines, state policies, and commodified research. While the particular moment of U.S. feminism in the shadow of Cold War and postcolonialism has passed, its dynamics continue to inform the ways that health is governed and politicized today.

Synthetic Aesthetics

Author : Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg
ISBN : 9780262019996
Genre : Medical
File Size : 62. 96 MB
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As synthetic biology transforms living matter into a medium for making, what is the role of design and its associated values?

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