Monday, May 13, 2013

Review - Biopunk: DIY Scientists Hack the Software of Life by Marcus Wohlsen

I was very skeptical about this book. It did not look serious enough for a science book, but I was wrong.
This book brings the stories of groups of individuals who try to access science (specifically human biology) and to make it available to all without relying on the government nor the giants institutions who hold the monopoly to the practice of the art.

The book shows bio-hacking in all the lights possible, benefits and risks. It makes one think about the reasons of the limited access and all the possibilities if the biological knowledge was in the hand of the general public. It also presents all that was done (in north America, mostly) to spread the knowledge and help individuals tinker and tryout their own hypothesis on a wide variety of subjects  from extracting DNA more cheaply to bio-technology advancement.

The stories, in majority, are inspiring and mind-opening. It show the length to which to some would go to access biological information about themselves (mostly genetic indicators of certain diseases) or to facilitate the access to lab materials such as PCR or bio-marks.

Bio-hacking is an young branch of science that not many have though about and I can only see it growing.

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