Christina Agapakis




MoMA Design and Violence Project: Synthetic PhiX174 Bacteriophage

The New Inquiry: Osmic Frequencies

The Toast: Gal Science: How Nail Polish Works

Re:Form: Biofabrication 101 and Better Living Through Germs: Design for the Microbiome

LadyBits on PopSci: The Forgotten Woman Who Made Microbiology Possible

Blueprints for the Unknown: Synthetic Biology as Collective Fantasy

Rather than asking if synthetic biology will save the world or destroy it, perhaps it's more useful to start with a much simpler question: does synthetic biology actually exist?

The Toast: Wolabachia, the misandrist bacteria

Symbiosis and the evolution of 100% female societies (in wasps).

Superflux Blog: DNA Stories

What if personalized medicine happens? Thinking about the future of our DNA dreams.

Omni Reboot: Edible Memories

Can you eat a memory? We take a peek into a long-forgotten controversy from the strange annals of biological psychology.


Active since 2009, part of ScienceBlogs 2010-2011 and the Scientific American blog network since 2011-2014. Currently independently hosted at

Example Posts

In Print

Lucky Peach 13: Huge for the Holidays

Between "full" and reflexive vomiting — the body's final defensive strategy for overfullness — there is a lot of room for holiday overeating. Full text on PopSci.

In Vitro Meat Cookbook: Essay — Growing the Future of Meat

Advocates of in vitro meat—and perhaps readers of this essay—may see in my criticism a wish to return to nature, to reverse technological progress and throw us all into a life of agrarian serfdom. But a critique of this particular technology is not the same as arguing against all technology. Seeing criticism of in vitro meat as anti-technology relies on the assumption that technology is only one thing, that it has a singular path, and that in vitro meat is already inevitable. This kind of argument is intended to shut down reasoned debate, closing off discussion of how technologies come into existence and work in the real world in favor of a blind faith that in the future, we will inevitably control all the variables.

Synthetic Aesthetics: Investigating Synthetic Biology's Designs on Nature: Chapter — The Inside-out Body

We collected microbes from our own skin, rubbing cotton swabs over our hands and in between our toes, in our armpits and inside our noses. Each swab was put into a small jar of organic pasteurized whole milk and warmed overnight. In the morning, the acids produced by the microbes had done their work. We could strain the curds away from the whey, making a series of small cheeses. These cheeses were of course not the aged masterpieces of artisan cheesemakers, but microbial sketches, capturing some of the ecological diversity of different bodies and different body parts, bringing to the foreground the living odors of the body.




SynBio LEAP: Love Our Monsters: Radical Collaboration in a Post-disciplinary Age

Synberc Blog: The Structure of Industrial Revolutions

The Book of Invisible Life: Lactobacillus

Arc 1.3: Afterparty Overdrive: Fun and Games in the Garden

Industrialised biotechnology offers us commoditised biology, simplified and sterilised, hidden in vats pumping out medicines and fuels. In food and agriculture, biotechnology leaves us with just a handful of species that we then process into the thousands of products you can find at the supermarket. But food is not just fuel; it’s life, cuisine, and culture. Our bodies aren’t machines; they are complex biological systems, assemblages of human and microbial cells that grow and change. The genomes of the human ecosystem can be read and perhaps even rewritten, but they will still respond to our environment, to our food, to our culture, in varied and beautiful ways.

Six Parties Symposium on Synthetic Biology Travel Fellowship Essay:

Timelines, roadmaps, and tools: navigating the futures of synthetic biology.

The Crux, Discover Magazine Blogs:

Steak of the Art: The Fatal Flaws of In Vitro Meat

The Prozac Yogurt Effect: How Hype Can Affect the Future of Science

Knowledge is Power, selected for Open Lab 2010.

Intellectuals in their self-flattering wish-fulfillment say that knowledge is power, but the truth is that knowledge further empowers only those who have or can acquire the power to use it.

-Richard Lewontin