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Bioprophecy and the politics of the present: notes on the establishment of Mexico's national genomics institute (INMEGEN)

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In 1999, a small group of genomic entrepreneurs and local politicians started mobilizing the idea of founding a national genomics institute in Mexico. Approximately four years later, and after 18 months of congressional debate, the Mexican National Institute of Genomic Medicine (INMEGEN) was established by presidential decree. As scholars, we are interested in how the call for a high-tech, high-cost genomics institute was able to gain political traction in a country, where many people struggle to secure access to even the most basic level of health care. Those behind the establishment of the INMEGEN used what we call technologies of bioprophecy to present it as a modernizing institution that would move the nation into the “new world order” by bringing not only biological and economic health, but also scientific prestige to Mexico.
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Keywords: Mexico; economics; genomics; nationalism; prophecy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Anthropology, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand 2: Department of Anthropology, The University of Durham, Durham, UK

Publication date: December 1, 2013

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