1st Edition

Local Cells, Global Science The Rise of Embryonic Stem Cell Research in India

By Aditya Bharadwaj, Peter Glasner Copyright 2009
    152 Pages
    by Routledge

    152 Pages
    by Routledge

    One of the first studies of an exciting new development in global biotechnology, this cutting edge text examines the extent of the transnational movements of tissues, stem cells, and expertise, in the developing governance framework of India.

    Documenting the impact of local and global governance frames on the everyday conduct of research, this groundbreaking book traces the journey of ‘spare’ human embryos in IVF clinics to public and private laboratories engaged in isolating stem cells for potential therapeutic application. The discussion also examines the gender dimension as a potential site for exploitation in the sourcing of embryonic and other biogenic materials, and suggests that a moral economy has developed in which the ethical values of the global 'North' support and encourage the donation of abundant and ethically ‘neutral’ embryos by the 'South'.

    This unique exploration is grounded in an empirical, multi-sited ethnographic study that takes a thoroughly comparative analysis of the ethical, religious and social issues in Europe, the United States, and organ donations already prevalent in India. In this theoretically-sensitive analysis, the authors use the resources of social anthropology and the social sciences in an innovative text which will appeal to postgraduates and professionals in the areas of STS studies, genetics, bioethics, and anthropology.

    Part 1: The Local, Global and Contextual: An Introduction  Part 2: Dis-locations: Local Cultures of Cells, Global Transactions in Science  Part 3: Biosociality to Bio-crossings: Encounters with Embryonic Stem Cells in India  Part 4: Sacrificial Gifts: Infertile Citizens and the Moral Economy of Embryos  Part 5: Miraculous Stem Cells: The Liminal Third Space and Media Rhetoric  Part 6: One Ethic Fits All? Complexities in Cross-Cultural Standardization, Bioethics and Regulatory Protocols  Part 7: Local Cells, Global Science: Some Concluding Considerations


    Aditya Bharadwaj is Lecturer in the School of Social and Political Studies at the University of Edinburgh. His principal research interest is in the area of New Reproductive and Genetic Technologies and their rapid spread in diverse global locales ranging from South Asia, North Africa to United Kingdom.

    Peter Glasner is Professorial Research Fellow for CESAGen at Cardiff University. His longstanding interests are in the organisation and management of the new genetics, the development of innovative health technologies, and in public participation in techno-scientific decision-making.

    'Local Cells should be a welcome addition to the nascent body of scholarship on contemporary science and society in India because it highlights the complexities that underpin contemporary transnational regulatory regimes, commerce, research and technology.'
    -Kriti Kapila, University of Cambridge, in Contemporary South Asia, vol 18, no 3