myBio dolls

myBio dolls are a collection of educational dolls exploring the emergence of biological hybrids in biotechnologies, and our moral, social, cultural and personal responses to the strange and different in human biology and also “transhuman” creatures.


Learning from companies and organisations that produce educational dolls, designer Elio Caccavale and bioethicist Richard Ashcroft made twelve myBio dolls that could symbolise possible biofutures.

The use of narrative and myBio dolls can help children understand how to deal with applications of biotechnology, and with the social development of biotechnological knowledge. Tomorrow’s children will need to know the key methods used in biotechnology so they can learn to understand the many ambivalent possibilities of biotechnology.

Starting with a series of “What if” stories, the narrative process gives children a common language for talking about biotechnology. “Suppose that your life could be saved by a pig, what would happen to you and the pig?” or “Imagine you could have a glow-in-the-dark rabbit, would you relate to such a rabbit differently than a conventional one?”


The dolls include myBio boy and myBio pig which demonstrate the physical transfer of the organ from the animal to the human; myBio bunny, myBio glowing ï¬?sh and myBio jellyï¬?sh glow bright green when illuminated with a UV light, demonstrating how scientists have used GFP as a fluorescent indicator for monitoring gene expression in living organisms; myBio reactor cow shows how cows produce proteins in their milk for pharmaceutical drugs (this is symbolised by the “milk thread” attached to the cow’s udders); myBio goat has a spider web attached to the udders demonstrating one animal making the natural product of another.

Hybrids: towards a new typology of beings and animal products will be shown at the Science Learning Centre, Institute of Education, in London, from 20 May 2005 to 02 June 2005.

Check also: Elio Caccavalle’s Utility Pets.
Related: DogLab.