Our era is marked by an increasing development of sophisticated techniques for modifying and improving living organisms (genetic engineering, DNA sequencing, genome editing, nanotechnologies) which convey a particular conception of the living. The living is considered as a machine “dismountable” and “remountable” at leisure, shapable according to the desires, fantasies or economic objectives of those who work on it. However, such a “machinic” conception of living things is at the heart of the work of a group of biotechnology researchers and engineers. The article presents a sociological survey carried out on the field of synthetic biology, considered as an “engineering of the living,” showing in what ways this field of research and innovation, by ever increasing, in speech and in action, the control and exploitation of living organisms, contributes to the bioeconomy and its objectives of improving living organisms.
- synthetic biology