Publication details

Recombinant DNA and Genome-editing Technologies : Embodied Utopias and Heterotopias



Year of publication 2021
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Body & Society
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Keywords embodiment; genome editing; heterotopia;Michel Foucault; recombinant DNA; utopia
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Description Recombinant DNA technology is an essential area of life engineering. The main aim of research in this field is to experimentally explore the possibilities of repairing damaged human DNA, healing or enhancing future human bodies. Based on ethnographic research in a Czech biochemical laboratory, the article explores biotechnological corporealities and their specific ontology through dealings with bio-objects, the bodywork of scientists. Using the complementary concepts of utopia and heterotopia, the text addresses the situation of bodies and bio-objects in a laboratory. Embodied utopias are analyzed as material semiotic phenomena that are embodied by scientists in their visions and emotions and that are related to potential bodies and to future, not-yet-actualized embodiments. As a counterpart to this, the text explores embodied heterotopias, which are always the other spaces, like biotechnological bio-objects that are simulated in computers or stored in special solutions.
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