Accepted Paper:

Surplus materials from humans as a commodity in research  

Author:

Kristín E Harðardóttir (University of Iceland)

Paper short abstract:

This paper will examine how tissue collections are used in research in Iceland and how they become commodities in research. How surplus materials from humans are becoming more and more important in research and are becoming commodities

Paper long abstract:

Modern biotechnology and informatics have opened up a new world in which a multitude of information can be isolated and exploited for various purposes. This paper will examine how tissue collections are used in research in Iceland and how they become commodities in research. Various institutes in Iceland and elsewhere collect and record tissue samples and information derived from them. These bio-banks are often stored in connections to pathological laboratories but today we are starting to focus on other surplus materials from humans. Modern societies with increased focus on medical research most of our bodily materials have gained value, for example materials that used to be categorized as waste like materials from breast reduction are seen as potential research materials. How surplus materials from humans are becoming more and more important in research and are becoming commodities. How do we see these transactions from materials that used to be waste over to something of value in medical research and how do we benefit from it?

Panel W040
Anthropological perspectives on the establishment of new medical technologies