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It is generally accepted that the development of the modern sciences is rooted in experiment, yet for a long time experimentation did not occupy a prominent role in history of science. With the “practical turn” in science studies, the situation has changed. This chapter examines a particular aspect of scientific practice, which can be addressed as “cultures of experiment.” It begins with a close look at a particular experimental culture in the life sciences: biological in vitro, or test tube, experimentation. An early form of in vitro experimentation was based on homogenates of cells. It was paralleled by tissue cultures in the test tube. From the 1930s on, fractionation of cellular contents became predominant. The opposition that these experimental moves encountered is also traced. The chapter concludes by suggesting the historiographical potential of the concept of experimental culture, which can help transcend the traditional history of disciplines.

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