The mechanome, “the body of knowledge about mechanical forces at work in the molecular, cellular, anatomical, and physiological processes that contribute to the architecture of living structures and their physical properties,” became more prominent this year in discussions of biology (though one story on the physics of biology late last year garnered 354 comments). For so long, the genome ran away with all the interest and publicity but maybe that’s changing.
At her blog, science writer Suzan Mazur talks about the way that mechanobiology is becoming mainstream:
“When I say mechanobiology is all the rage, I’m not simply referring to lab research and scientific conferences on the subject, although they are, of course, central. But also to: (1) mechanobiology university courses based on current scientific papers (not textbooks); (2) academic
bootcampto train high school teachers about mechanobiology; (3) university fellowships tied to the mentoring of students K-12 on mechanobiology; (4) various museum installations, including a permanent, full scale exhibit on shape designed to interactively educate kids as young as toddlers—to cite a few examples.” Suzan Mazur, Mechanobiology — Tour de Force” at Oscillations
That’s going to make a big difference in terms of the number of people who will know what “mechanobiology” means and does not mean. For example, it does not mean a cyborg (a life form with both biological and mechanical parts integral to the system — which, in fairness, a person might take a guess on if they had never heard the term “mechanobiology” before). 😉
Mazur, who is the author of The Paradigm Shifters: Overthrowing ‘the Hegemony of the Culture of Darwin’, also provides a list of conferences worldwide that are tackling the latest research on the topic.
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