Rendering Life Molecular: Models, Modelers, and Excitable Matter
This chapter pays close attention to biological engineers’ use of mechanistic logic and machine analogies to render living substance in the form of molecular machines. It offers an ethnographic account of protein modelers’ creativity with both words and things as they learn to put machines to work in living organisms. It argues that rendering molecules as machines is a craft practice, one that makes it possible for practitioners to visualize and intervene in molecular worlds in particularly effective ways. This chapter takes a close look at machinic renderings at distinct historical moments. This chapter is concerned with contexts when modelers...