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The Uses of Life : A History of Biotechnology - Robert Bud

The Uses of Life

A History of Biotechnology

By: Robert Bud, Mark F. Cantley (Foreword by)

Paperback Published: 15th August 1994
ISBN: 9780521476997
Number Of Pages: 319

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Good or bad? New or old? The rich connotations of the word 'biotechnology' reflect a history that surprisingly stretches back more than seventy years. To some, the concept describes the evolving crafts of industrial production using microorganisms. To others, biotechnology is a product of recombinant DNA techniques only recently developed by molecular biologists. It has been seen simply as a means of wealth production and as a new kind of technology - sometimes as distinctively benevolent and, at other times, as particularly dangerous. Robert Bud shows how the hopes and fears for the combination of biology with engineering have been an integral part of the history of the twentieth century, including the Great Depression of the 1930s, the two world wars, and the more recent anxieties over genetics and entrepreneurial industry. The problems and opportunities of agricultural surpluses provide an enduring theme. Skillfully, the author relates biotechnology's origins in the chemistry and microbiology of the nineteenth century. Personalities with influential roles in its subsequent development - the future first president of Israel, Chaim Weizmann; a pioneer of industrialized agriculture and Hungarian pig farmer, Karl Ereky; the British biologist and town planner Patrick Geddes; his friend the writer Lewis Mumford; the Nobel Prize-winning American geneticist Joshua Lederberg; the sceptical campaigner Jeremy Rifkin; among many others - are discussed. Analysis of the changing roles and hopes for biotechnology in government and society takes the book to the end of the 1980s, when recombinant DNA techniques had become the dominant driving force behind what today we think of as biotechnology. Thisfirst history of biotechnology provides a readable and challenging account for anyone interested in the development of this key component of modern industry, not just for biologists, chemists, engineers, and historians of science and technology.

Industry Reviews

'... delightful, informative, readable ...' Jack Pasternak, ASM News '... the best introduction to the comparative and cultural history of biotechnology ...' Glenn E. Burgos, Science '... well produced, satisfying and enjoyable to read.' Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology

List of illustrations
(Head of Concentration Unit for Biotechnology in Europe (CUBE) Directorate General for Science, Research and Development Commission of the European Communities)
The origins of zymotechnology
From zymotechnology to biotechnology
The engineering of nature
Institutional reality
The chemical engineering front
Biotechnology - the green technology
From professional to policy category
The wedding with genetics
The 1980s: between life and commerce
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521476997
ISBN-10: 0521476992
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 319
Published: 15th August 1994
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 15.24 x 22.61  x 2.29
Weight (kg): 0.48

Earn 130 Qantas Points
on this Book