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Biotechnology and Communication : The Meta-Technologies of Information (LEA's Communication Series)

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This collection, limited as it is to a single volume, is far from exhaustive.
A complete research agenda for biotechnology’s impact on and implications
for information, communication, and culture would also include the
changing nature of individual and social identity, changes in organizational
form and financial instruments, reconsideration of human communication
processes as a result of what has been learned about cellular and biochemical
communications, and legal and cultural implications of the merging of
the digital and organic worlds. A brief review of the major themes in the history
of biotechnology should help contextualize and focus the work presented
here, and that which is to come.

Biotechnology is not a single technology, but a suite of techniques for
processing genetic information derived from a number of disciplines, including
biochemistry, molecular genetics, microbiology, and zymotechnology
(fermentation). In its current form, biotechnology refers to processing
technologies that apply microorganisms, cell cultures, or parts of either for
human (industrial) purposes. It includes the design and use of microorganisms
for direct use in food or other purposes (what economists refer to as a
primary, or final, good) and genetic manipulation of microorganisms to improve
their efficiency in converting materials that serve as inputs into other
processes (a secondary good). Using biotechnology, genetic information
can be processed either in a laboratory or in an organism (Goodman, 1987;
OTA, 1982).
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