Tag: Synthetic Biology

ilari laamanen
Wild Systems

Interview: Curator Ilari Laamanen on Momentum9, the Nordic Biennial

This year Momentum, the Nordic biennial, celebrates its ninth edition in the lush landscape of Moss, Norway. Taking the thematic approach of Alienation, the team of curators (Ulrika Flink (SE), Ilari Laamanen (FI), Jacob Lillemose (DK), Gunhild Moe (NO) and Jón B.K Ransu (IS)) seeks to extrapolate new perspectives on the human condition subjected to the rapidly changing interconnected world through transdisciplinary explorations. Presenting a group of internationally renowned artists, the biennial addresses topical concerns of cultural and geographical borders, biopolitics and social inequality, to outline a series of strategies towards “extraordinary futures”. We recently talked with one of the curators of the biennial, Ilari Laamanen, to peel the outcrops of the exhibition and explore its similarities with the next nature philosophy.

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Next Nature

Step Inside the Next Nature Habitat

The natural habitat of the polar bear is the Arctic. The natural habitat of the scorpion is the desert. How about humans? What is our natural habitat? And what does it mean to live in a next nature? Discover it with the Next Nature Habitat VR, our immersive experience to travel through different environments where we might live in someday. Will machines take over, just like they did with the Internet or global finance? Or will we go back to live like our ancestors, in close harmony with nature and gathering food to survive? And what if we existed in a fully simulated reality, could we endure such a artificial place? Try to answer these questions and join the discussion on our possible future habitat. Step inside…

NNN fellow Floris Kaayk just won a Gouden Kalf Award for his latest project The Modular Body.
Next Nature

Floris Kaayk Wins Gouden Kalf Award

Congratulations to NNN fellow Floris Kaayk, who just won a Gouden Kalf Award for his latest project The Modular Body. The work is an online science fiction story around the creation of OSCAR, a living organism built from human cells. Its inventor is Cornelis Vlasman, a versatile and innovative biologist. Together with a like-minded team of professionals, he starts an independent laboratory in which he experiments with organic materials.

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members
Microbial Factories

Interview: Nadine Bongaerts, Synthetic Biologist Bridging Science with Society

Nadine Bongaerts is a Dutch synthetic biologist and entrepreneur who is building bridges between science, business and society. Fascinated by engineering life at the smallest scale, she designs bacteria with new functions. In 2010, she joined a team of TU Delft students to participated in the worldwide synthetic biology competition iGEM (Internationally Genetically Engineered Machine) for which they developed DNA bricks that turned bacteria into minuscule oil-degrading cells. The work was recognized nationally and internationally and awarded with different prizes. Her current research focuses on using genetic engineering of bacteria to produce a pearl-like material with advanced mechanical properties.

Bongaerts is always looking for creative ways to share her knowledge and connect science to societal developments. This resulted in the co-founding of Biotecture (2011), a company for communication and education of Life Sciences. Since 2014, she is Global Community Director of Hello Tomorrow in which she leads a global network of scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs and investors to stimulate interdisciplinary collaborations that accelerate scientific findings to the market.

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Biomimicry

Bio Art & Design Awards 2015

So, you are well aware that biotech will drive our evolution, you took the crash course on synthetic genomics, you’ve got your map of the DNA world in your backpack and are now eager to redesign some microbes that turn waste into energy, eat plastic, detect flu, or build a better being altogether? You have a brilliant project plan already, but only need some – let say– euro 25.000 and a bit of help from a research group to turn your vision into reality? We have cake for you.

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Anthropocene

Reinventing Nature with Synthetic Biology

Bioengineer Drew Endy shares his idea of biology as a precision manufacturer that could potentially transform civilization as we know it.

“There is this natural technology out there in the wild that is so capable of manufacturing stuff that it coats the surface of the Earth. It takes atoms from the atmosphere and light from the environment and self-assembles huge structures with atomic precision.”

According to Endy the only option we have is to embrace a synthetic biological future, to change the way we live, manufacture and consume. “We are destroying environments, we are critically ripping away biodiversity; it’s a disaster” he states. “We actually have a chance of reinventing civilization”.

Read more on Discover Magazione
Related post: The Prefuture of Synthetic Biology

Anthropomorphobia

Biological Bakery

Here is one for the niche of poppy-science-synthetic-biology-candy lovers.

For the Aussie pop band Architecture In Helsinki artists Lucy McRae and Rachel Wingfield made a edible DIY bio fab–lab called the Biological Bakery. Using familiar baking processes that merge the mass production of food with the representation of the body, a production line of miniaturized band members are transformed into edible, cloned body parts that are dipped and rotated on mass in huge vats of bacterial skin. Now try this at home folks!

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