Embryos, microscopes, and society
MetadataShow full item record
Embryos have different meanings for different people and in different contexts. Seen under the microscope, the biological embryo starts out as one cell and then becomes a bunch of cells. Gradually these divide and differentiate to make up the embryo, which in humans becomes a fetus at eight weeks, and then eventually a baby. At least, that happens in those cases that carry through normally and successfully. Yet a popular public perception imagines the embryo as already a little person in the very earliest stages of development, as if it were predictably to become an adult. In actuality, cells can combine, pull apart, and recombine in a variety of ways and still produce embryos, whereas most embryos never develop into adults at all. Biological embryos and popular imaginations of embryos diverge. This paper looks at some of the historical reasons for and social implications of that divergence.
© The Author(s), 2016. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 57 (2016): 129-136, doi:10.1016/j.shpsc.2016.02.003.
The following license files are associated with this item:
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Cytochrome P450 1 genes in birds : evolutionary relationships and transcription profiles in chicken and Japanese quail embryos Jonsson, Maria E.; Woodin, Bruce R.; Stegeman, John J.; Brunstrom, Bjorn (Public Library of Science, 2011-12-02)Cytochrome P450 1 (CYP1) genes are biomarkers for aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) agonists and may be involved in some of their toxic effects. CYP1s other than the CYP1As are poorly studied in birds. Here we characterize ...
Quantitative orientation-independent differential interference contrast microscope with fast switching shear direction and bias modulation Shribak, Michael (Optical Society of America, 2013-03-27)We describe a quantitative orientation-independent differential interference contrast (DIC) microscope, which allows bias retardation to be modulated and shear directions to be switched rapidly without any mechanical ...
Tant, Cynthia J.; Rosemond, Amy D.; First, Matthew R. (Society for Freshwater Science, 2013-09-17)Nutrient enrichment affects bacteria and fungi associated with detritus, but little is known about how biota associated with different size fractions of organic matter respond to nutrients. Bacteria dominate on fine (<1 ...