In the current biomedical literature Umbilical Cord Blood (UCB) is considered a valid source of hematopoietic stem cells for hemo-poiesis reconstitution. The acknowledgment of the potential of UCB for transplants prompted the transformation of this human tissue from a dis-carded human residuum to a valuable life-saving tissue. Drawing on the no-tion of bio-objectification (Webster 2012), this paper critically investigates the socio-technical process by which this transformation occurred, and ex-plores the two-way interaction between basic biological research and clini-cal settings in which the therapeutic use of UCB was developed. Secondly, drawing on the notion of biobanks as forms of governing life, this paper an-alyzes how different institutional arrangements in UCB biobanking produce different routes in UCB bio-objectifications and different economic regimes of UCB exploitation. UCB biobanking thus entails diverging articulations of the relationship between biomedicine and society, and the co-construction of medical technologies, therapeutic applications, subjectivities and social rationalities.

The Bio-Objectification of Umbilical Cord Blood: Socio-Economic and Epistemic Implications of Biobanking

Beltrame, Lorenzo
2014

Abstract

In the current biomedical literature Umbilical Cord Blood (UCB) is considered a valid source of hematopoietic stem cells for hemo-poiesis reconstitution. The acknowledgment of the potential of UCB for transplants prompted the transformation of this human tissue from a dis-carded human residuum to a valuable life-saving tissue. Drawing on the no-tion of bio-objectification (Webster 2012), this paper critically investigates the socio-technical process by which this transformation occurred, and ex-plores the two-way interaction between basic biological research and clini-cal settings in which the therapeutic use of UCB was developed. Secondly, drawing on the notion of biobanks as forms of governing life, this paper an-alyzes how different institutional arrangements in UCB biobanking produce different routes in UCB bio-objectifications and different economic regimes of UCB exploitation. UCB biobanking thus entails diverging articulations of the relationship between biomedicine and society, and the co-construction of medical technologies, therapeutic applications, subjectivities and social rationalities.
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Beltrame, Lorenzo
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11572/98759
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