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Comment: Publisher: Harvard Univ Pr
Date of Publication: 2010
Binding: hardcover
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Biology Is Technology Hardcover – 22 Mar 0010

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (22 Mar. 0010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674035445
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674035447
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16.3 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,091,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


"An informative view of the future prospects for biotechnology and its regulation."
--Nature, 22 April 2010

About the Author

Robert H. Carlson is a Principal at Biodesic LLC.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By P. Millett on 18 May 2010
Format: Hardcover
If you are at all interested in where science is taking us right now then this book is a must read. Many have claimed that the 21st century will be the century of biology but this book lays out how that might be true. It covers the cutting edge of thinking in biology from the ideology, through the science and moves on to consider the social, legal and moral implications of decisions being taken now, of which many of us are unaware, that really could shape the coming decades.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
if you have a basic understanding of synthetic biology and its current developments then this book wouldn't be a great read.....but it is a great overall book on synthetic biology.... its no wonder as synthetic biology is a hard topic to condense and the book has done its best to condense it..... overall i would give it a 6/10...
read it if you havent kept urself upddated with utube talks or research papers....
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By SCL on 8 Oct. 2011
Format: Paperback
The tem was in great condition, as described in the review. Prompt service and delivery within the stipulated time frame.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 7 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
The first of the small-scale biotech company books. 23 Mar. 2010
By Benjamin J. Hunt - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Book was review of recent adventures in open-source and small scale biotechnology. If you haven't been reading the scholarly literature on devices and breakthroughs, I can think of no better crash course.

From Keasling's entire engineered metabolic pathways to iGEM to Amyris's new fuel producing bacteria, the author has an excellent and informed perspective on the breakthroughs that are worth thinking about.

The author also describes in detail the difficult morass of patent and copyright law concerning biotechnology. His description of CAMBIA's "walled garden" is better than any I have read, even in books exclusively about open-source biotechnology. (Although there is currently only one, Biobazaar).

His description of garage biotechnology is sparse, mainly due to the above morass, and it would have been nice to have more details on the LavaAmp, this author's most recent work, which is a very cheap, reusable PCR device.

This book goes by fast, and is a must read for anyone looking to start or invest in a small biotechnology company, or anyone who wants to do it themselves.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Excellent 15 Mar. 2010
By William B. Swift - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent survey of recent developments AND a thorough argument that openness contributes more to our safety from future attacks and accidents than trying to restrict knowledge and materials could. Not quite up to date, as he wrote in the Afterword, "everyone in the field is running so fast that it is impossible to keep up", but more so than any other book I have found. Most of the detailed discussion of the actual technology is up to about 2 years ago. A good discussion of the benefits and problems of patents as they apply to biotechnology (and to any field where many patents may apply to a single product (patent thickets)). Surprisingly readable for the amount of information included.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
If you are a biotech entrepreneur, this is required reading 29 Jan. 2012
By R. Qualls - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Biology Is Technology is written like a quality research paper. It covers the current challenges with delivering bioengineering/biotechnology solutions and what is being done to meet those challenges. This is a no BS book. Carlson goes into the meat right off the bat, and you are not likely to be disappointed with any of the chapters by the time you finish. If you are an investor, entrepreneur, executive, or are just curious, this book needs to be on your bookshelf.

Table of Contents:

1. What Is Biology?
2. Building with Biological Parts
3. Learning to Fly (or Yeast, Geese, and 747s)
4. The Second Coming of Synthetic Biology
5. A Future History of Biological Engineering
6. A Pace of Change in Biological Technologies
7. The International Genetically Engineered Machines Competition
8. Reprogramming Cells and Building Genomes
9. The Promise and Peril of Biological Technologies
10. The Sources of Inspiration and the Effects of Existing and Proposed Regulations
11. Laying the Foundations for a Bioeconomy
12. Of Straitjackets and Springboards for Innovation
13. Open-Source Biology, or Open Biology?
14. What Makes a Revolution?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Outstanding and insightful 9 April 2012
By Daniel Orr - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is engaging, timely, and well-written. Carlson provides a succinct analysis of why biotechnology isn't moving as quickly as its advocates hope, but an equally powerful refutation of the doomsayers who claim new technology is something to be feared. Highly recommended for anyone starting out in biotechnology, but experts may also find Carlson's examples useful in crafting their own explanations.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Some of what you want to know about synthetic biology, but not enough 20 July 2014
By Lee by the Sea - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I selected this book for a small group that is dipping its toes into synthetic biology--or at least trying to get its mind around it. It looked good enough, but as we have used it, its defects have become increasingly obvious: It is out of date (lots of economic data from 2006-2008), idiosyncratically written, and badly organized. We had to go to another couple of books and the Internet to get everyone up to speed on the fundamentals of DNA. Although Carlson does give an example of direct modification of DNA and covers the early days of iGEM, there is too much missing and too much soapbox talk. Unfortunately, he is not a lucid writer. With all of that said, the book does cover many relevant topics, such as the biosafety and patent issues that accompany this fascinating field. Carlson attempts to cover the economic aspects but his coverage is sorely dated. I hope that someone else will put it all together for general readers in the near future--hello, iGem graduates with a flair for writing! And when he or she creates the Kindle version, real page numbers and a live index would be very appreciated.
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