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Spaces of stem cell science: exploring processes of translational research

Grant reference: RES-350-27-0001

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Journal article details

Remaking the body? : scientists’ genetic discourses and practices as examples of changing expectations on embryonic stem cell therapy for diabetes
In this paper we discuss genetic discourses and practices in stem cell science. We report on how biomedical scientists, in both the UK and the USA, view the scientific literature and their own experimental research in the emerging field of human embryonic stem (hES) cells. We focus on the genetic manipulation of stem cells to make specialized (beta) cells as a potential cure for diabetes. We draw on Gieryn's notion of boundary work as an analytical motif, and suggest this is a productive way to theorize boundary crossings in the shifting landscapes of expectations in the field of new medical technologies. We argue that initial expectations of a revolution in regenerative medicine have been damped down by the difficulties of making insulin producing pancreatic beta cells from stem cells. We contend the consequent shifts in expectations have led to the emergence of other more radical experimental strategies (such as using oncogenes) in the search for potential cures for Type 1 diabetes. In conclusion, we argue that regenerative medicine is a fruitful example of the shaping of contested biomedical landscapes and we contend that embryonic stem cells are a productive case study of the interactions between genetics, science and society.
Abstract
English

Primary contributor

Author Steven Wainwright

Additional contributors

Author Bobbie Farsides
Author Mike Michael
Author Alan Cribb
Author Clare Williams

Keywords

medical ethics; life sciences; genetics; diabetes

Additional details

26
3
Yes
1463-6778
http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/iopenaccess.asp
Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group
01 January 2007
251-268
Abingdon
Postprint
New genetics & society

Cite this outcome

Harvard

Wainwright, Steven et al (2007) Remaking the body? : scientists’ genetic discourses and practices as examples of changing expectations on embryonic stem cell therapy for diabetes. New genetics & society. 26 (3), pp. 251-268 Abingdon: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.

Vancouver

Wainwright Steven et al. Remaking the body? : scientists’ genetic discourses and practices as examples of changing expectations on embryonic stem cell therapy for diabetes. New genetics & society 2007; 26 (3): 251-268.