La United Kingdom Stem Cell Bank

October 2010
Sociologie & Sociétés;automne2010, Vol. 42 Issue 2, p291
Academic Journal
The objective of this paper is to examine the relationship between the confined material organization of emerging biological researches, its consolidation into a discipline and the arising of collective hopes on a broad scale. The case under study is the United Kingdom Stem Cell Bank, described as a successfully performing and effectively organized "architecture" that plays a key role in the international regulation of the manipulation of human embryonic stem cells. The argument is to show that the structuring of this confined and sterile space necessary to the maintenance of human embryonic stem cells has also been the creation of a space of multilateral and international cooperation with regard to these biological products. In order to study the tension between these two very different scales, the institutional differentiation of the UK Stem Cell Bank is seen as a movement category of individuals, biological products and data concerning them. Integrating recently developed perspectives within the field of policy transfer studies, this article focuses on the regular, repeated and centralized movement of collecting cells of human origin toward this confined space and on the data standardization and recording procedures used in order to explain the success of this local model on a broad scale.


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