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This essay re-reads key events in genomic and postgenomic history in terms of affect, exploring a dimension of the emergence of postgenomics often neglected in the epistemological, technological, or organizational approaches used by historians as indices of change. The essay contends that the postgenomic ability to rapidly and completely sequence genomes has been registered not only as a scientific, cognitive, or practical change by participants in these scientific developments, but also as an affective change. Whereas genomics was often troped as boring, postgenomics is marked more by signs of interest, excitement, and surprise. The essay also calls for historical accounts of the genomic life sciences that not only better appreciate these affective dimensions, but attempt to elicit them as well.

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