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Representing life as opposed to being: the bio-objectification process of the HeLa cells and its relation to personalized medicine
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Centre for Research Ethics and Bioethics.
2013 (English)In: Croatian Medical Journal, ISSN 0353-9504, E-ISSN 1332-8166, Vol. 54, no 4, 397-402 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The immortal HeLa cells case is an intriguing example of bio-objectification processes with great scientific, social, and symbolic impacts. These cells generate questions about representation, significance, and value of the exceptional, variety, individuality, and property. Of frightening (a lethal cancer) and emarginated (a black, poor woman) origins, with their ability to "contaminate" cultures and to "spread" into spaces for becoming of extraordinary value for human knowledge, well-being, and economy advancements, HeLa cells have represented humanity, and emphasized the importance of individual as a core concept of the personalized medicine. Starting from the process leading from HeLa "cells" to HeLa "bio-objects," we focus on their importance as high quality bio-specimen. We discuss the tension between phenomenological characteristic of fundamental biological research and the variety of material and methodologies in epidemiology and personalized medicine. The emerging methodologies and societal changes reflect present EU policies and lead toward a new paradigm of science.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 54, no 4, 397-402 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-209489DOI: 10.3325/cmj.2013.54.397ISI: 000324490800013PubMedID: 3763245OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-209489DiVA: diva2:658230
Available from: 2013-10-21 Created: 2013-10-21 Last updated: 2013-10-21Bibliographically approved

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Svalastog, Anna Lydia
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