Regenesis: How Synthetic Biology Will Reinvent Nature and Ourselves

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“Bold and provocative… Regenesis tells of recent advances that may soon yield endless supplies of renewable energy, increased longevity and the return of long-extinct species.”—New Scientist

In Regenesis, Harvard biologist George Church and science writer Ed Regis explore the possibilities—and perils—of the emerging field of synthetic biology. Synthetic biology, in which living organisms are selectively altered by modifying substantial portions of their genomes, allows for the creation of entirely new species of organisms. These technologies—far from the out-of-control nightmare depicted in science fiction—have the power to improve human and animal health, increase our intelligence, enhance our memory, and even extend our life span. A breathtaking look at the potential of this world-changing technology, Regenesis is nothing less than a guide to the future of life.
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About the author

George M. Church is Professor of Genetics at the Harvard Medical School and member of the Wyss Institute of Biologically Inspired Engineering. Ed Regis is author of seven science books, most recently What Is Life? Investigating the Nature of Life in the Age of Synthetic Biology.
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Reviews

4.7
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Additional Information

Publisher
Basic Books
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Published on
Apr 8, 2014
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9780465038657
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Language
English
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Genres
Science / Biotechnology
Science / Life Sciences / Biology
Science / Life Sciences / Genetics & Genomics
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Ed Regis

"Oh, the humanity!" Radio reporter Herbert Morrison's words on witnessing the destruction of the Hindenburg are etched in our collective memory. Yet, while the Hindenburg-like the Titanic-is a symbol of the technological hubris of a bygone era, we seem to have forgotten the lessons that can be learned from the infamous 1937 zeppelin disaster.

Zeppelins were steerable balloons of highly flammable, explosive gas, but the sheer magic of seeing one of these behemoths afloat in the sky cast an irresistible spell over all those who saw them. In Monsters, Ed Regis explores the question of how a technology now so completely invalidated (and so fundamentally unsafe) ever managed to reach the high-risk level of development that it did. Through the story of the zeppelin's development, Regis examines the perils of what he calls "pathological technologies"-inventions whose sizeable risks are routinely minimized as a result of their almost mystical allure.

Such foolishness is not limited to the industrial age: newer examples of pathological technologies include the US government's planned use of hydrogen bombs for large-scale geoengineering projects; the phenomenally risky, expensive, and ultimately abandoned Superconducting Super Collider; and the exotic interstellar propulsion systems proposed for DARPA's present-day 100 Year Starship project. In case after case, the romantic appeal of foolishly ambitious technologies has blinded us to their shortcomings, dangers, and costs.

Both a history of technological folly and a powerful cautionary tale for future technologies and other grandiose schemes, Monsters is essential reading for experts and citizens hoping to see new technologies through clear eyes.
Ed Regis

"Oh, the humanity!" Radio reporter Herbert Morrison's words on witnessing the destruction of the Hindenburg are etched in our collective memory. Yet, while the Hindenburg-like the Titanic-is a symbol of the technological hubris of a bygone era, we seem to have forgotten the lessons that can be learned from the infamous 1937 zeppelin disaster.

Zeppelins were steerable balloons of highly flammable, explosive gas, but the sheer magic of seeing one of these behemoths afloat in the sky cast an irresistible spell over all those who saw them. In Monsters, Ed Regis explores the question of how a technology now so completely invalidated (and so fundamentally unsafe) ever managed to reach the high-risk level of development that it did. Through the story of the zeppelin's development, Regis examines the perils of what he calls "pathological technologies"-inventions whose sizeable risks are routinely minimized as a result of their almost mystical allure.

Such foolishness is not limited to the industrial age: newer examples of pathological technologies include the US government's planned use of hydrogen bombs for large-scale geoengineering projects; the phenomenally risky, expensive, and ultimately abandoned Superconducting Super Collider; and the exotic interstellar propulsion systems proposed for DARPA's present-day 100 Year Starship project. In case after case, the romantic appeal of foolishly ambitious technologies has blinded us to their shortcomings, dangers, and costs.

Both a history of technological folly and a powerful cautionary tale for future technologies and other grandiose schemes, Monsters is essential reading for experts and citizens hoping to see new technologies through clear eyes.
瑞吉斯 Ed Regis
曾經是諾貝爾獎得主雲集的高研院,

有可能培育出下一個愛因斯坦嗎?

獲《紐約時報書評》推選為年度重要科學書

 

愛因斯坦用相對論,為人類敲開另一扇認識世界的窗。這位物理大師告別人世時,除了留下無限惆悵,也遺下曾經充滿他睿智哲思的辦公室。

 

這不禁令人好奇,究竟愛因斯坦的辦公室,傳給了誰?

而繼承愛因斯坦辦公室的幸運兒,能否再掀起二十一世紀的知識革命?

 

這間傳奇辦公室,位於普林斯頓鄉間的高研院。這座研究院曾讓數論大師哥德爾、電腦之父馮諾伊曼、原子彈之父歐本海默等人,聚集在此鑽研新知、窮究宇宙。沒有高研院群雄,人類知識的疆域不知得退幾里路。作者瑞吉斯親訪高研院,記錄大師群像,讓活生生的歷史躍然紙上。他也開啟了想像:究竟高研院的新一代人才,能否展現大師的光芒?

 

《愛因斯坦的辦公室給了誰?》實在讓我讚不絕口,瑞吉斯能擠身一流科學作家之列,絕對當之無愧。

──葛登能,《科學美國人》數學專欄作家

真摯的啟發人心,完美的愉悅體驗。

──《洛杉磯時報》

碎形、格狀自動機、複雜系統、宇宙泡泡、超弦理論等難解的奧祕,讓瑞吉斯的妙筆一揮,在書中顯得活靈活現。

──《紐約時報書評》

瑞吉斯總是有辦法把最艱澀的科學,轉成最愉悅的閱讀經驗,讓讀者透過字裡行間,一聞柏拉圖夢土的耳語。

──《華爾街日報》
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