Utskrift från Malmö högskolas webbplats www.mah.se

Bio-objekt på 2000-talet. Chimbrider och andra arthybrider

Kontaktperson: Malin Ideland
Ansvarig: Tora Holmberg Uppsala universitet
Medarbetare: Shai Mulinari
Finansiär: Riksbankens jubileumsfond och Crafoordska stiftelsen
Tidsram: 2011-03-01 -- 2014-12-31
Forskningsprofil: Utbildningsvetenskap
Fakultet/institution: Lärarutbildningen, Natur-miljö-samhälle
Ämne: Samhällsvetenskap

Stamcellsforskning och regenerativ medicin är forskningsområden med höga förväntningar – gällande såväl vetenskapliga upptäckter som medicinska behandlingar och ekonomiska möjligheter. I detta fält av förväntningar och förhoppningar kan nya former av liv skapas och användas, som till exempel chimbrider (artblandningar i embryostadium) och Inducerade Pluripotenta Stamceller (IPSc).

Forskningsprojektet ”Bio-objekt på 2000-talet” är inriktat på att förstå och analysera dessa nya former av liv utifrån begreppet ’bio-objekt’. Bio-objekt skapar sina särskilda dilemman eftersom de ofta överskrider kulturella sorteringssystem och invanda kategoriseringar liksom traditionella styrningsramar och regelverk. De befinner sig i ett slags mellanrum där den kulturella betydelsen och regleringen är under förhandling. 

Syftet med studien är att utveckla teoretiska redskap för att förstå och reglera de utmaningar som dessa nya bio-objekt för med sig. Metodologiskt följer vi hur bio-objekt koppade till stamcellsforskning och regenerativ medicin omtalas på olika arenor: medier, konst, policysammanhang, forskningsinstitutioner och forskningsfinansiärer.

Analysen omfattar såväl bilder som textmaterial som intervjuer. Genom att följa bio-objekten genom flera arenor finns möjlighet att förstå hur dess betydelse omförhandlas och utmanas beroende på sammanhang.

Publikation
Holmberg, T (2011) Unfamiliar biological futurities: Animals in techno-science, Humanimalia, 2(2) (www.depauw.edu/humanimalia)

Holmberg, T, Schwennesen, N, Webster, A. (2011) Bio-objects and the bio-objectification process, Croatian Medical Journal 52(6): 740-742.

Holmberg, T & Ideland, M (2012) Challenging bio-objectification; adding noise to transgenic silences. In: Vermeulen, N, Tamminen, S & Webster, A (eds): Bio-Objects - Life in the 21st Century. Farnham: Ashgate.

Holmberg, T, Ideland, M, Mulinari, S, (2012) Determining discourse on bio-objects, International Innovation, September: 24-26.

Poort, Lonneke, Holmberg, Tora, Ideland, Malin (2013) "Bringing in the controversy: re-politicizing the de-politicized strategy of ethics committeesLife Sciences, Society and Policy;11, 1-13, Springer, ISSN 2195-7819, DOI [länk](PDF document) 

Holmberg, Tora, Ideland, Malin (2013) "För Sverige i framtiden : Bioobjektifiering av ny medicinsk teknologiSociologisk Forskning;1, 31-49, Sveriges sociologförbund, ISSN 0038-0342, (PDF document) 

Holmberg, Tora, Ideland, Malin (2014) "Konsten kan lämna nyttotänkandetFria Tidningen;20140106, Mediekooperativet Fria Tidningar, ISSN 1654-9449, URL [länk]

Mulinari, Shai, Holmberg, Tora, Ideland, Malin (2012) "The moral economies of the human stem cell crowd

Description in English

Bio-objects in the 21st century: Cybrids and other hybrid embryos

Stem cell research and regenerative medicine are areas with high expectations regarding both scientific breakthroughs and medical therapeutic innovations. In order to pursue research with stem cells, scientists continuously come up with new and sometimes controversial techno-scientific objects; embryonic stem cells, clones, transgenic animals, cybrids, and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC).

The current project employs and develops the concepts ”bio-objects” and ”bio-objectification” in order to understand these novel life forms (Vermeulen, Tamminen & Webster, 2011). Bio-objectification refers to the process through which different types of bio-socio-technological assemblages contribute to the making of bio-objects.  As a consequence of these novel relations, the boundaries between human and animal, organic and nonorganic, living and the suspension of living (and the meaning of death itself), are questioned and destabilized, though sometimes can be re-established or re-confirmed. What is common to what is called bio-objects, is thus that they all in various ways challenge conventional natural, cultural, scientific and institutional orderings. Moreover, the bio-object is about constructed biologies that have hybridity, involving the manipulation and capturing of biological forms and processes, with no ‘intrinsic’ self or boundary as such, often evoking the language of the ‘Unnatural’ – or in STS, their framing as cyborgs/’monsters’ – which emphasizes both manipulation but most importantly disconnection (Holmberg, Schwennesen & Webster 2011). It is not simply a matter of turning something that is in “nature” into something else. What is our task is to map how bio-objects are formed through the process of bio-objectification processes, and to analyze the standardization, stabilization and labeling of a new entity. The term "bio-object" refers to a socially potent biotechnological entity which creates controversy due to its’ potential challenging of established classifications.  The concept thus entails four different dimensions:

  1. Matter out of place – challenging classifications
  2. Controversial in one or more arenas of society – challenging social order
  3. Technologies and labour involved, that are sometimes themselves problematized – challenging ‘discovery’
  4. Consequences on individual, symbolic and structural level; changing social relations, emergence of new categories and identities – challenging social relations

The aim of the project is to develop theoretical tools in order to understand and regulate the challenges brought on by these novel bio-objects. Methodologically, we follow and analyze the forming of stem cell research and regenerative medicine specific bio-objects through various arenas: media, policy circles, research institutions, bio-ethics, and funding politics and bodies. Data consist of both interviews and documents. The project is performed in close collaboration with the COST-Action network cluster “Bio-objects and their boundaries. Governing matter in the intersection of society, politics and science” (www.bioobjects.eu).

Senast uppdaterad av Magnus Jando