Week 1&2:

As I read A Life of Its Own by Michael Spector and he was introducing us to the idea of bacterially-synthesized drugs to treat malaria, my mind immediately went to the problem of scale. To his credit, he quickly discussed this issue in the article, but it is still something that lurks in my mind with so many biotech and food issues: growing uncontaminated cultures en masse is not easy (or cheap) and urban farming isn’t going to get us anywhere. The Farmbot is really fantastic and I like how it uses a computer interface to design your garden – that’s such a smart way to integrate learning using current modes of interaction, particularly in our ‘food production dissociated’ society. However, I’m stuck on scale. What does this look like in a larger setup? While impressively condensed as is, it’s still somewhat impractical for many people (IKEA assembly is a real world problem) and areas . Are these types of inventions useful as a transition or too myopic in scope to live on? Where do we start with problems of this scale?

Also, here is the compost machine I was referencing.

Think of the Alternate/Alternative Now – what does it look like?  Taste like?  Smell like?  Feel like?
What Questions do you want to see answered or problems you’d like to see addressed?
* Issues of scale
* Will we all be farmers in the future?
* Will we have time to farm in the future?
* What’s the deal with drought resistant plants? Are they useful, beneficial?
* What is the legality of gene construction in agriculture?
* Can a monocrop be modified to actually replenish soil?

What do you wish you could make?  Think of some of Sebastian’s amazingly whimsical projects.
A GMO to prevent cavities 
A symbiotic monocrop
* Alternate food packaging
* This
Harness power of microbes to safely dispose of waste or by-products
* Specifically designing a crop capable of withstanding conditions in Madagascar
Find inspiration HERE

What science/biology stuff do you want to play with and why?
Genetic manipulation (I have experience, though not with plants)


1 thought on “Week 1&2:”

  1. Such a great post Dana – i can always count on you to challenge the norm and the not so-norm with thoughtful questions and far reaching thinking.

    i love love the anti-cavity GMO – that would be incredibly valuable – though I’m sure the Dental Association would take issue. $$

    Andrea, who is in our class from Food Studies – did a great sustainable food packaging project for me last semester FYI – i think she talked about it in class.

    and well, the spinach plant that can detect explosives. yup. iron finding iron.

    not biotech – but do you know this project? http://minekafon.org/

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