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Blood Ties: Banking the Stem Cell Promise

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This paper explores the banking of cord blood stem cells by new parents, a growing phenomenon that raises a number of questions for scholars interested in the role of expectations in innovation. In particular, we focus on the relationships between imagination and materiality, the way in which today's expectations of a future stem cell revolution have become embodied (materialised) in an ever-growing number of deposited cord blood samples. In addition, the case raises interesting questions about agency and authorship in the construction of the stem cell dream and the production of new ‘blood ties'—new future-oriented parental duties and responsibilities. Here, parents are encouraged to think themselves into a future in which their newborns are ‘at risk', but also a future populated by an innovative range of regenerative medical treatments.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Science and Technology Studies Unit, Department of Sociology, University of York, UK 2: Institute for the Study of Genetics, Biorisks and Society (IGBiS), The University of Nottingham, UK

Publication date: July 1, 2006

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