Special Topics in Design | Media Arts: Biotechnology and Design

Bio-designers use cells, DNA molecules, proteins, and living tissues to highlight ethical, social, and aesthetic issues that influence contemporary life. Introduction to how bio-design blurs distinctions between science and design through combination of design and scientific processes, creating wide public debate. Introduction to new sciences that influence food we eat, clothes we wear, and environment in which we reside. Students challenged to think outside the box, explore divergent and convergent thinking, and seek out knowledge and inspiration from ideas that drive nano- and bio-technology. Peer collaboration encouraged to develop speculative design projects that address issues covered.
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Please contact Prof. Victoria Vesna if you are interested in joining this class.


CRISPR - Covid-19 Testing

CRISPR is a technology for editing genomes by cutting targeted specific regions on the DNA sequences. This technique allows researchers to easily alter DNA sequences and modify gene function such as correcting genetic defects, treating and preventing the spread of diseases. Recently this technique has been used for the Covid19 tests as a possible solution for quicker tests for a wider population.

CRISPR Gene Editing

During the discussion, I found CRISPR​ to be really interesting technology on how it can generate and edit genes and how this can change someones life. Before the discussion in class today I had no idea that there was such a thing. So I did more research on my own and found this video that was about CRISPR and thought was helpful. 

CRISPR, Cyborgian Futures, Neuralink & Stelarc

    As we discussed last class, technologies such as CRISPR are becoming more and more accessible to the general population. Because of this, gene editing and gene modification will become more and more prominent in the near future. But CRISPR is not the only type of tool in which we use technology to enhance and better our lives.

CRISPR Technology (gene editing therapy)

CRISPR technology, we discussed during the class, was one of the most interesting technologies that can generate and manipulate genes, or gene editing. Through this system, the virus can be removed or can extend one’s life. Ethical concerns are brought up as CRISPR is able to alter human genomes. Even though it is not influential to certain types of cells and tissues, it has a possibility to change egg and sperm cells. This allows altering human’s basic traits, such as height or intelligence (U.S. National Library of Medicine).

CRISPR and Nature

             I found the topic of last class to be extraordinarily interesting in regards to learning about CRISPR (Clusters of Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) gene editing technology. The CRISPR-Cas9 system is compared to a pair of molecular scissors, allowing for the precise cut of a particular strand or piece of DNA. It has established an entirely new realm of science: genome engineering.


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