Life on Ice: A History of New Uses for Cold Blood

University of Chicago Press
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After the atomic bombing at the end of World War II, anxieties about survival in the nuclear age led scientists to begin stockpiling and freezing hundreds of thousands of blood samples from indigenous communities around the world. These samples were believed to embody potentially invaluable biological information about genetic ancestry, evolution, microbes, and much more. Today, they persist in freezers as part of a global tissue-based infrastructure. In Life on Ice, Joanna Radin examines how and why these frozen blood samples shaped the practice known as biobanking.

The Cold War projects Radin tracks were meant to form an enduring total archive of indigenous blood before it was altered by the polluting forces of modernity. Freezing allowed that blood to act as a time-traveling resource. Radin explores the unique cultural and technical circumstances that created and gave momentum to the phenomenon of life on ice and shows how these preserved blood samples served as the building blocks for biomedicine at the dawn of the genomic age. In an era of vigorous ethical, legal, and cultural debates about genetic privacy and identity, Life on Ice reveals the larger picture—how we got here and the promises and problems involved with finding new uses for cold human blood samples.
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About the author

Joanna Radin is assistant professor of the history of medicine at Yale University, where she also holds appointments in history and anthropology.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Mar 27, 2017
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9780226448244
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Language
English
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Genres
History / United States / 20th Century
Medical / History
Science / General
Science / History
Technology & Engineering / History
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Contributors
Warwick Anderson, Michael Bravo, Jonny Bunning, Matthew Chrulew, Soraya de Chadarevian, Alexander Friedrich, Klaus Hoeyer, Frédéric Keck, Eben Kirksey, Emma Kowal, Joanna Radin, Deborah Bird Rose, Kim TallBear, Charis Thompson, David Turnbull, Thom van Dooren, Rebecca J. H. Woods

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