Trees and seas of information: Alien kinship and the biopolitics of gene transfer in marine biology and biotechnology



Examining discussions of "lateral gene transfer" in marine biology and biotechnology, I maintain that "natural" bonds between genealogy and classification in biology may be dissolving. I argue that marine microbial biology is good to think about with the rise of new kinships and biopolitics organized less around practices of "sex" than politics of "transfer." I draw on fieldwork among academic and industry marine biologists to explore implications of rhizomatic, informatic, watery articulations of "bare life." [biopolitics, kinship, gene transfer, anthropology of science, maritime anthropology, biotechnology]