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Life on IceA History of New Uses for Cold Blood$
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Joanna Radin

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226417318

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226448244.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 11 May 2021

Introduction: Within Cold Blood

Introduction: Within Cold Blood

(p.1) Introduction: Within Cold Blood
Life on Ice

Joanna Radin

University of Chicago Press

This book examines how and why frozen blood samples—in particular those collected from colonial or newly postcolonial regions in the decades after World War II—became a resource for biomedical science. It is a history of a phenomenon known as biobanking, in which bits of tissues from humans and nonhumans are stored at very low temperatures for future research. It is the ability to hold still biological substances at various degrees of low temperature that has enabled such materials to become incredibly mutable and mobile, able to be manipulated, relocated, and recombined to answer questions other than the ones for which they were initially extracted from the body. Examining the history of the biobank in terms of low-temperature tissue-based infrastructure makes it possible to know how ideas about what life is and how it has been valued have changed and continue to change over time.

Keywords:   biobank, infrastructure, temporality

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