By Scott Frickel
Here is the 1st old and sociological account of the formation of an interdisciplinary technology often called genetic toxicology, and of the scientists’ social stream that created it.
After study geneticists stumbled on that artificial chemical compounds have been in a position to altering the genetic constitution of residing organisms, scientists started to discover how those chemical compounds affected gene constitution and function. within the past due Sixties, a small staff of biologists turned involved that chemical mutagens represented a significant and probably international environmental threat.
Genetic toxicology is nurtured as a lot through public tradition as through specialist practices, reflecting the interaction of genetics study and environmental politics. Drawing on a wealth of assets, Scott Frickel examines the construction of this box throughout the lens of social stream thought. He unearths how a dedicated workforce of scientist-activists reworked chemical mutagens into environmental difficulties, mobilized current study networks, recruited scientists and politicians, secured monetary assets, and constructed new methods of buying wisdom. the result's a publication that vividly illustrates how technological know-how and activism have been interwoven to create a self-discipline that continues to be a defining function of environmental overall healthiness science.
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Extra resources for Chemical consequences: environmental mutagens, scientist activism, and the rise of genetic toxicology
The logic of mutation production dovetailed perfectly with the disciplinary goals of classic genetics. For scientists promoting a “genetic toxicology” in the late 1960s and 1970s, however, this logic would present constraints as well as opportunities. The existence of numerous experimental systems engineered to produce speciﬁc types of designer mutations in regard to nuanced theoretical questions gave geneticists concerned with public health issues only partial answers to the new question that piqued their interest.
Chemical Mutagenesis In contrast to the excitement generated in 1927 by Muller’s discovery of radiation mutagenesis, chemical mutagenesis began with a whimper. In autumn 1940 Charlotte Auerbach and J. M. 9 The ﬁrst successful results appeared in April 1941. A year later Auerbach and Robson delivered their initial report of these experiments to the British Ministry of Supply. 10 In the interim, but still a full three years after completion of their initial experiment, Auerbach and Robson managed to publish a half-page research note in Nature (Auerbach and Robson 1944).
And studying rare events in a way that was statistically meaningful required access to very large populations of experimental organisms. The relative infrequency of any particular type of naturally occurring mutation thus meant that mutations had to be mass produced. In developing their methods of mutation production, geneticists selected experimental organisms carrying traits amenable to laboratory conditions and to the technical demands of experimental practice. Such an animal was the humble fruit ﬂy, Drosophila melanogaster.
Chemical consequences: environmental mutagens, scientist activism, and the rise of genetic toxicology by Scott Frickel