WEEK_11

Iterative Response

In the chapter titled Nanotechnology, Vibration and Vitalism, Paul Thomas “explores the ideas of atomic vibration and the life forces that are associated with the ongoing oscillations of atoms at the heart of matter.” In other words, Thomas discusses the potential applications and effects of vibration at the nanolevel. This includes both the reactions of nanoparticles to exterior vibrations and the atomic vibrations emitted by the particles.

Thomas describes sonic presentation as the method in which invisible world translated in efforts to interchangeably connect to a contrastingly smaller world. This form of presentation is mainly focused with sound. For instance, composer Susan Alexander who collaborated with cell biologist David Deamer at the university of California in 1988 produced one sound artwork called DNA Suite. The sound recordings from this experiment were sourced from data mappings of sequences of DNA bases of adenine, thymine, guanine, and cytosine. From this, they produced compositions based solely on the chemical compositions if these bases. Further, in Alexander and Deamer’s work, the molecular vibrations emitted from these substances were measured by the spectrophotometer.

On the other hand, the roles were reversed in Adam Zaresky’s 2002 discovery of the “Humperdinck”. As a bio-artist working at MIT, Zaresky uncovered a process where vibrations of loud music played for 48 hours elicited the antibiotic production in E. coli. Unlike in DNA Suite, the source of vibrations were not from inside the nanoparticle, but from penetrated the bacteria from the outside.

Overall, from these two experiments, and more generally from this chapter, the applications and effects of vibrations intrigue me. Particularly, I find the idea of vibrations existing in all the “meters” to be incredible. Whether it is on the nanolevel or on the level that humans live their lives, vibrations have the same function. Moreover, nanoparticles are able to emit vibrations on their scale, as shown from Alexander and Deamer’s work, as well as be affected by vibrations purposely emitted by humans, as demonstrated in Zaresky’s. 

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