Controlling life: from Jacques Loeb to regenerative medicine. Academic Article uri icon


  • In his 1987 book Controlling Life: Jacques Loeb and the Engineering Ideal in Biology, Philip Pauly presented his readers with the biologist Jacques Loeb and his role in developing an emphasis on control of life processes. Loeb's work on artificial parthenogenesis, for example, provided an example of bioengineering at work. This paper revisits Pauly's study of Loeb and explores the way current research in regenerative medicine reflects the same tradition. A history of regeneration research reveals patterns of thinking and research methods that both echo Loeb's ideology and point the way to modern studies. Pauly's work revealed far more than we readers realized at the time of its publication.

publication date

  • 2009