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  • 1. Introduction The book Biopunk: DIY Scientists Hack the Software of Life by Marcus Wohlsen illustrates about the grass root movements of the biohackers who dream for billion dollar ideas. Genetic modification is direct human manipulation of an organism’s genome with the use of the current DNA technology. Genetic engineering is demanded in the field of research, medicine and biotechnology. Few years back molecular biologist Ellen Jorgensen and the author coaxed a new set of generic instructions coaxed a new set of genetic instructions into a vial of bacteria (Marcus Wohlsen, 25). The new code, originally from jellyfish, successfully programmed the bacteria to glow green. It was a meagre introduction to biotechnology. In today’s world the number of biotech companies and research institute has started to work on the genetic engineering to unlock the beginning of the new life again. Genetic engineering is one of the important areas in the field of biotechnology. It causes the cell change in the function of the living body that also include microorganisms, humans, animals and plants (Vera Meyer, pp.177-185) Artificial manipulation is done in this technology and also from one living organism to another, the genetic material is transferred. The transfer of genetics is done separately in case of plants to plant, bacteria to plant and virus to plant. With the help of the new technology and information in genetics the specific traits will pass to their offspring. In the nature, because of the possible number of genes and also because of the limited transfer technologies the combination of genetic is not often found. DNA Technology and today’s world This book suggests about these DNA related technological activities and code it in to a new life from scratch. The problem is not in coding through genetic technology in to a new life but the issues are how effective and useful this technology is? Number of the scientists and researchers state that this technology changes the genetic makeup of a living part with the help of new genetic possibilities that describe about the heritable material for the organism that might be either directly in to the cell or host and then it is joined together as whole with the cell (Terrina Dickinson Laing, pp. 341-348). In genetic technology DNA sequencing is important aspect of it and this is accepted by the
  • 2. peoples because DNA sequencing uses the several methodologies to determine the nucleotide bases like guanine, thymine, adenine and cytosine that are found in the DNA molecule. This process is very clear and effective but the use of this process is not so easy because it needs engagement of the DNA cells to the code for new life (I. Edward Alcamo, pp.63-69). DNA sequencing methodologies are used to translate through the cells that produce a chain of amino acids, and create proteins. These genetic and DNA activities can’t be ignored in the human, plats and animal organisms. Biopunk and nature of the thing In this book the grass root movements of the biotech enthusiasts who are moving faraway across the boundary of the traditional labs has been introduced very nicely can say that the author keep this mind as nature of the things. . The nature of the thing is that people are not satisfied with current results of science they demand to explore the reason and control it. The technological revolution as personal computer started by shaggy übergeeks has reached to a milestone in this today’s world. In that time the demand of the people was less but now it has been so far that it can’t be imagine in words (Peter J. Bowler, 89-95). This is what is called a change in the technological world. The edge of technological revolution in the biotechnology field specifically in the genetic engineering doesn’t seem to be comparable to the earlier edges. As like the programming nerds, the biohackers also have some social quirks but it also leads to the creative disruption. The author explains that these hackers in the biotechnology area come for different reasons such as some of for the pleasure of learning and some to show the power of bending life according to their wish. It is assumed that the biological will shape the physical world as the information age has shaped the data. Not only this, but this hacking of the life through the use of different technologies in DNA and genetics explains that the new things in the nature are going to be changed based on the wish of the human. The varieties of these technologies involve improvement of the food quality, solving medical issues and are conservative. Tom Knight, a tech-guru-cum-biotech-patron, describes about the new age of the biohackers and focuses on the cell which he considers as the most innovative manufacturing plant ever made in the world (Venter J; Adams, pp. 1304-51). It gives strength to manipulating the cells in easy way and transforming it in to another form. The author says that the transition of the world can be done from the capital intensive
  • 3. manufacturing to the replication for lower costs. Biopunk comes in the picture because we suck in the engineering biology. Numbers of biotech industries are also changing the way of hacking the life as biohackers and transforming the genes to another gene through replication technology. The technology that has evolved the cell to the computer is more advanced and companies as focusing more on it.
  • 4. Movement’s impact to human, nature and society Biopunks, the author argues as are on the edge of technological revolution in this modern world. These technologies have mostly affected the humans because the transition is mostly occurring in the humans. This movement has also produced a burgeoning class of entrepreneurs who always think as for a new billion dollar idea coming out from the biotech hacking activities of life. The biohackers tycoons is not emerged fully yet but it is expected to be emerge soon (Valerie K, pp.5782-812). The effect is such that most of the manufacturing companies will not spend a lot on the raw materials but instead of that rapid producing cell will be used for manufacturing because in essence the cell will behave as factory and product. The growing community of the DIY scientists working to democratizing DNA in the same way as internet did information. Biohacking movement aims to outbreak of genetically modified innovation through making tools and techniques in the field of biotechnology. Biopunk works on the idea of open sourcing the basic code of life and believe in the power of individuals that access to DNA and solve the biggest issues in the world. Now scientists are only producing the raw materials with the help of genetically modified organisms. The biotech industries are using the modified organisms and algae instead of the fossil fuels. Chemical industries are teaming with the enzyme designers so that plastics can directly grow bacteria. According to MIT biologist Angela Belcher, the modified organisms’ virus grows the batteries and solar panels. (Marcus Wohlsen, 86) Two scientists also developed a machine as size of cell phone which copies the DNA and can be plugged in to the computer. The young scientists are not only pushing the boundary of DNA coding but also making the bioengineering cheaper and easily accessible for all. It is affecting to the life, working culture and thinking of the humans in a new way. Mostly the effect of this technology on the lives is positive but in case when human do based on his desire might cause issues to the lives. The biotech companies, chemical companies, manufacturing companies, humans, animals and plant mostly affect because of these technologies in the bioengineering field. Individuals’ bio punk will greatly affect if anything happens in the DNA or genetic engineering activities. Acceptance or Rejection of the technology Humans from the ages are the most dominated create to adopt or reject anything that is introduced to the nature first. Biopunks are considered as the new segment of the society
  • 5. which transform the plant, human or virus in to another desirable form because of the innovation through biohackers and cell transformation (Dahm R, pp. 561-82). The technology should adopt because it helps in between the human and other species Medical treatment became easy, change of cell formation made effective, improvement in manufacturing processes, lowering the costs of manufacturing; there are many things which suggest accepting the changes and new technology. It should not be only use for the purpose of making money by the firms, should not be restrict to human society for own good, should use in nature reformation. For example, a woman who developed a genetic test for deadly disease considered as for the right use for humans. Conclusion The book Biopunk has introduced to a new segment of society as biohackers based on the research from 2008 to 2010. DNA or Genetic engineering is very useful in cell transition to the new form that is useful for the human, animal, and plant lives. Many industries didn’t invest for manufacturing but instead of that used cell replication for lowering the cost. DNA sequencing is important methodology of the better cell transition. There are many benefits because of this new technology in the bioengineering area. Final conclusion is that biopunks by Marcus Wohlsen illustrates the possibilities of the biohackers movements in genetic engineering.
  • 6. References: 1. Peter J. Bowler, The Mendelian Revolution: The Emergency of Hereditarian Concepts in Modern Science and Society (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989, pp. 89-95 2. Vera Meyer, Biotechnology Advances, Volume 26, Issue 2, March–April 2008, Pages 177-185 3. I. Edward Alcamo, DNA Technology (Second Edition), 2001, Pages 69-93 4. Terrina Dickinson Laing, David C.W. Mah, Robert T. Poirier, Faouzi Bekkaoui, William E. Lee, Douglas E. Bader, Molecular and Cellular Probes, Volume 18, Issue 5, October 2004, Pages 341-348 5. Venter J; Adams, MD; Myers, EW; Li, PW; Mural, RJ; Sutton, GG; Smith, HO; Yandell, M et al. (2001). "The sequence of the human genome". Science 291 (5507): 1304–51. 6. Valerie K, Povirk L (2003). "Regulation and mechanisms of mammalian double-strand break repair". Oncogene 22 (37): 5792–812 7. Marcus Wohlsen (2011), Biopunk: DIY Scientists Hack the Software of Life 8. Dahm R (2008). "Discovering DNA: Friedrich Miescher and the early years of nucleic acid research". Hum. Genet. 122 (6): 565–81