Biotechnogiosity stem cell

26 10 2007

Biotechnogiosity is a hybrid stem cell originated from the fusion of the Biotechnology and Religion cells, as in each society over the time both the individual and collective system of values have been the result of the mutual influence of the status and the development of society itself (scientific/technological progress)  and the experience of the sacred.

In the following link you will find the graphics of the Biotechnology cell, the Religion cell and the Biotechnogiosity gamy:

#    biotechnogiosity-cell-gamy.pdf


Biotechnogiosity Advent Calendar

23 10 2007

I have started to visualize my research as a biotechnologic process itself and Biotechnogiosity like the hybrid embryo born from the two different species cells of Biotechnology and Religion.  The subtitle of this blog already says “a research about the religious faith as a biotechnologic process”. When I wrote this, it was just  a supposition, now I have got the real reason for me. At a “molecular scale”, I must say at the “inner scale”, Biotechnology and Religion are made of the same essence, the same Dna, (I need to elaborate this concept more.), so they can be addressed of all those kinds of biotechnology processes we know up to now, in a conceptual level.

The Biotechnogiosity hybrid cell is an embryo, is a stem cell that gets a differentiation only when it is contextualized in one of the 4 quadrans of the cartesian system of the bioengineerd life.

To show the various developments of the Biotechnogiosity stem cell and its specialization, I have created the Biotechnogiosity advent calendar, (you can see it from here: biotechnogiosity-advent-calendar.pdf), where, according to the X axis of bio/biotechnologic life and the Y axis of biologic time/afterlife, I have put all the concepts that have emerged in my mind, seeds of possible projects. 


Calling for scientists for cultural probing

23 10 2007

It has been a week yet that I’m emailing scientists from different disciplines related to Biotechnology in order to get them involved in my Cultural Probes, (for an insight about what the cultural probes consist of, click the following links: gaver_dunne_interactions_1999.pdf and gaver_interactions_2004.pdf) .

Up to now this are the recruited people:

– Neville Cobbe, he is a research fellow at the University of Edinburgh, Queen’s Medical Research Institute in Evolutionary Biology. He also writes articles for the magazine Zygon, about Religion and Science;

– Neli Prota, Ph.D in Biology at the Wageningen University, The Netherlands;

– Francesca Kone, Master in Marine Biology, Polytechnic University of Ancona, Italy.

The research I’m going to do with the scientists, as I said,  is called Cultural Probes and it is meant to give me some inspirations. It is quite different from the scientific method, that’s because it is a creative process of the design descipline.
It consists of a few tasks I ask them to do (I design this task by myself according to what I want to know more…the aim is to be surprised by thier answers) and as you will see, if you accept my request, the tasks seems to be not linked each other and not focusing on particular problem. It is all normal! I will use this probes to better know the human side of scientists researching in labs.
The probes will consists of prints out and other material I will send to them by regular post, obviously I will pay for everything. Then they will send me back the material as soon as they complete the tasks.

If there is any scientists reading right now and who would like to take part of this research, I would be very happy! Just leave a message in the way of “comment”.

Genetics of rituals

15 10 2007

Ethologists, such as Julian Huxley and Konrad Lorenz, studied the genetic trasmissions of rituals behaviour in animals.

Some researchers affirm the same for human beings at a base level, then culture would integrate particular behaviours according to the different context people belong to.

On the contrary, anthropologists completely disagree: they think that rituals are a cultural inherintance, no genetics would be involved in the transmission. They say that rituals help people to cope with the most important phases of life: birth, puberty, marriage, death. They also say that ritual is the primary religious phenomenon from which other features of religion arises. The religioun would be a rationalization of rituals, according to them. Rituals would also be symbolic rapresentation of the holy.

But what if ritual behaviour was really written in our DNA?

So, would religion really be codified in our cromosomes?

And what would genomics involve in our religious faith if this genetics inheritance really exists?

I need to find out more about genes and religious behaviour. I will check some articles in the magazine Zygon, about religion and science.

Cloning and spirituality

15 10 2007

Today I got this quote about the relationship between biotechnology and spirituality from the philosopher and media scientist Norbert Bolz:

” The more we optimize ourselves physically, the more the difference that makes a difference becomes a spiritual one.

Cloning is, as it were, a step towards spirituality.”


Hacking the Human Body_Picnic ’07

7 10 2007

 On the 28 sept I went to the conference “Hacking the Human Body” at Picnic ’07 in Amsterdam thanks to the free ticket Regine gave me for present (thanks Regine! I promise you that with my thesis I will make money not art).

picnic pass

Picnic ‘o7 is an annual event highlighting the latest cross media content and technology developments. I joined the meeting about the introduction of biotechnology in art and design, hold by Regine Debatty, Adam Zaretsky and Michael Burton.

Regine introduced the topic with some visions of modified bodies and she asked her guests to give their forecasts on the topic… 

Adam Zaretsky_ he is a teacher and practiotioner of VivoArts, a politically charged field that combines art and biotechnology. Here there are some reflections on his work:(to update)

Michael Burton_ he graduated in Interaction Design the RCA. He has been developing a project called The Race, questioning our future evolution as super organism responding of the change of our own environment in the current age. We are more than our DNA, we are a complex symbiosis with bacterias, micro-organisms and we should try to adapt to the new conditions considering them as part of our body and ecosystem. The biotechnology so should be a mean to modify bodies to better host them since they are essential for our health.

Michael Burton focused its design in improving the transmission of these bacterias to humans, such as:

 # new kind of bioengineered pets that could favourish the transmissions of bacteria to humans thanks to their fur;


# bioengineered human bodies that could store a large amount of micro-organisms in their cavities, surfaces, hair; 

 fingernails.gif          fingernails2.gif          praying_mantis_wig2.gif                                                   

# objects/clothes thanks to which humans could be more easely infected by the animals near them. 

wearable birds feeder            cow-inocu.gif          maggottherapyselfharm2.gif         

What I really like of Michael Burton project is:

# his deep research in the developing biotechnology and its consequences on society;

# his way of questioning the relevance of DNA: “are we only our own DNA?”;

#  his rethinking the use of biotechnology for a purpose that differs from the usual scientific purposes;

# his vision about the changing of behaviour of mankind due to the changing environment and the modified body;

# the real need he finds in the current age of manipulating the body in order to follow our evolution and let men live in this environment;

# with his project he affirms that the application of science is justified only by humanity needs;

# his taking position, even ethical;

# his mixture of last biotechnologies with the symbiotic” healing” relationship between man and animals, which comes from the old use of maggots in wounds;

# his project is not a simple object, but is a vision, a social fiction, an in-progress plot of future scenario that involves the change of behaviour from men;

# his direct and not complex way of present/show his project with pictures, videos, texts (see his website at

What Biotechnology is

7 10 2007

Biotechnology is  the technology that uses the properties of living organism to create products or services. As we read from the  United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, it is defined as “the exploitation of biological organisms or biological processes through modern techniques, which could be profitably used in medicine, agriculture, animal husbandry and environmental cloning”.

Biotechnology as introduces in science a kind of olystic view on the living organisms since it work on a molecular scale, where differences between these living organisms don’t exist any more.

It means that at that kind of scale, we have much more similarities to a frog, a sheep or whatever other creature than we have never guessed: what makes us different are only the number and the kind of proteins we hold in our DNA.

Biotechnology creates a kind of industry whose raw material is every molecules available in living organisms . And since it constitutes an industry, it is conceived to mass produce its outcomes. That’s the main point of Bioengineering, to introduce lab practises into large scale productions.

The human manipulation over living organism has been practised since the Egyptian age, so another definition of biotechnology could be the following one which stresses its former diffuse use: ” Biotechnology is the application of indigenous and/or scientific knowledge to the management of (parts of) microorganisms, or of cells and tissues of higher organisms, so that these supply goods and services of use to human beings.” (Bunders, J.; Haverkort, W.; Hiemstra, W. “Biotechnology: Building on Farmer’s Knowledge.” 1996, Macmillan Education, Ltd.)

The main fields of biotechnology are the following one:

# Red biotechnology_about medical processes and genes manipulation;

# White biotechnology_about industrial processes, such as introducing enzymes to produces chemicals;

# Green biotechnology_about agricultural processes, such as transgenic plants;

# Bioinformatics_about the analysis and  the organization of biologic data by informatics.