Tuesday, April 25, 2006

On the Emergence of Computer and Biological Code-Scripts

Just received an announcement for this talk at the RI School of Design. I wish I could attend, mostly to see how Eugene Thacker's conception of "biomedia" - the convergence of programmable computing, genetic science and bioinformatics - is picked up.
"Programmable Visions: On the Emergence of Computer and Biological Code-Scripts"
Lecture by Wendy Chun
Tuesday May 2nd
RISD Auditorium, 7PM

"Programmable Visions: On the Emergence of Computer and Biological Code-Scripts"
Why are images proliferating at a time when their power to index reality is waning? How and why have non-transparent technologies, such as computers, become conflated with transparency? This talk argues that the answer to these questions lies in the unforeseen emergence of programming languages. Drawing connections between early genetics and computer engineering, this talk argues that digital computing's "programmability"-its return to a "clock-work" universe-encapsulated mid-twentieth century dreams of biological heredity. Rather than foreshadowing DNA, as many have argued, early ruminations on the existence of a genetic code-script that conflated execution and legislation, such as Schrodinger's What is Life?, foreshadowed the emergence of a code-based causality, which software-not DNA-would, and could only, instantiate.

posted by ryan griffis  # 9:31 PM 0 comments links to this post

Monday, April 10, 2006

Motorola, Delaware and Biometrics

It looks like Motorola will be creating a biometrics security system for the State of Delaware... as this story explains: "This system will be used for both civil employment background checks and criminal identification and will provide law enforcement personnel with enhanced identification capabilities and greater crime solving tools."
Looks like people won't be left out of the "internet of things."

posted by ryan griffis  # 12:19 PM 0 comments links to this post

Syngenta/DuPont deal

The story about the Syngenta-DuPont joint venture has been all over the biotech investing news. This looks like a licensing deal, forming a new company called GreenLeaf Genetics LLC that will offer corn and soybean breeding material from both DuPont and Syngenta.

posted by ryan griffis  # 12:12 PM 0 comments links to this post

Interview with leader of the stem-cell unit at the National Institute on Aging

Wired magazine has this interview with Mahendra Rao, the Senior Investigator in the Laboratory of Neurosciences within the NIH. He discusses his reasons for leaving the NIH (for the private sector) which include the Bush Administrations executive order that denies funding to stem cell research. He also mentions some specific patent concerns.

posted by ryan griffis  # 12:03 PM 0 comments links to this post

Nanotech recall

From the ETC Group:
"ETC Group today renewed its 2003 call for a global moratorium on nanotech lab research and a recall of consumer products containing engineered nanoparticles. There is particular urgency for those products that are ingested, applied to the body or released in the environment. The need for action is underscored following the decision by German authorities to recall a nanotech bathroom cleaner, "Magic Nano" - purportedly a product of nanotechnology. At least 77 people reported respiratory problems in late March after using the product. Six people were hospitalized but later released when their respiratory distress faded.(1) The company marketing "Magic Nano" is Kleinmann GmbH, a German subsidiary of Illinois Tool Works (a US Fortune 200 corporation with 650 subsidiaries in 45 countries and 49,000 employees). Kleinmann sells "Magic Nano" in a spray pump and as an aerosol spray. The recall only applies to the aerosol spray.(2) There is no information available regarding the nano chemical compound used, nor whether the problem lies with the nanoparticles or with the interaction between the particles and the conventional aerosol propellant."
And if you're wondering what other nano-products are on the shelf, see the Project on Emerging Nanotechnology Consumer Products Inventory.

posted by ryan griffis  # 11:53 AM 0 comments links to this post

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Google Biopirates?

A story on News.com:
"Google was presented with an award as part of the Coalition Against Biopiracy's Captain Hook Awards for Biopiracy in Curitiba, Brazil, this week. The organizers allege that Google's collaboration with genomic researh institute J. Craig Venter--to create a searchable online database of all the genes on the planet--is a clear example of biopiracy."
Supposedly, this was based on David Vise's story "The Google Story," although Google hasn't made any public comments and Venter denies the relationship.

posted by ryan griffis  # 10:59 AM 0 comments links to this post


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