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Space, place and temporality in stem cell and cancer tissue banking: mediating between patient-donors and biomedical research

Stephens, Neil James 2012. Space, place and temporality in stem cell and cancer tissue banking: mediating between patient-donors and biomedical research. Social Theory and Health 10 (3) , pp. 245-264. 10.1057/sth.2012.5

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Abstract

This article reports on two qualitative studies of tissue banks in the United Kingdom: the onCore UK Cancer Tissue Bank and the UK Stem Cell Bank. I use the language of Waldby and Mitchell's tissue economies to interrogate the shared ground between the two institutions as collators, moral guardians and distributors of human tissue. The article articulates the key ontological and ethical differences between cancer tissue taken directly from patients and embryonic stem cell material taken from ‘spare’ IVF embryos donated by couples undergoing treatment. In this context, a key focus of the article is the spatial and temporal formations both constraining and produced by each bank to demonstrate the ways in which both institutions are engaged in bringing stable modes of exchange to socially complex human tissue, to both control temporal multiplicity and tame geographical spread. I take seriously the spaces and places of each bank, and the movement and flows of tissue through them to demonstrate how tissue banks operate as ‘moral refineries’ supplying healthcare research.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Centre for Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics (CESAGen)
Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Uncontrolled Keywords: cancer; stem cells; human tissue; banking; space; temporality
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
ISSN: 1477-8211
Last Modified: 23 Mar 2017 03:50
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/40568

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