© 2018

Craft in Biomedical Research

The iPS Cell Technology and the Future of Stem Cell Science


  • Discusses key concepts such as the material politics of science, constitutive relationality, nonhuman agency, craftwork, and continuum of instrumentality and care

  • Traces the political and economic expectations placed upon stem cell research in translating human stem cells from the laboratory to the clinic and to the pharmaceutical market

  • Discusses the future of stem cell science in the age of bioindustrialization and large-scale cell banking


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Mianna Meskus
    Pages 1-41
  3. Clinical Translation

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 43-43
    2. Mianna Meskus
      Pages 45-77
    3. Mianna Meskus
      Pages 79-104
  4. Experimentation

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 105-105
    2. Mianna Meskus
      Pages 107-146
  5. Tissue Donation

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 179-179
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 233-240

About this book


This book explores the new ways in which biology is becoming technology. The revolutionary iPS cell technology has made it possible to turn human skin and blood cells into pluripotent stem cells, thus providing an unprecedented opportunity to study the pathophysiology of diseases, understand human developmental biology, and generate new therapies. Drawing from a rich ethnographic study, Meskus traces the making of the iPS cell technology through the perspectives of clinical translation, laboratory experimentation, and tissue donation by voluntary patients. Discussing non-human agency, the embodied and affective basis of knowledge production, and the material politics of science, the book develops the idea of an instrumentality-care continuum as a fundamental dynamic of biomedical craft. This continuum, Meskus argues, opens up a novel perspective to the commercialization and industrial-scale appropriation of human biology, and thereby to the future of ethical biomedical research. 


anthropology bioethics body Embryo ethics medicine philosophy political science science social science sociology

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of TampereTampereFinland

About the authors

Mianna Meskus is Associate Professor at the University of Tampere, Finland. Her research explores technoscientific shaping of humanity from various perspectives, including reproduction, gender, biomedicine, politics and ethics.

Bibliographic information