Features

Risk and utility in the governance of diagnostic testing: the case of genetic screening, 1960 to the present

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Routine collection of blood samples from neonates – often using so-called Guthrie cards (pictured) – began in the 1960s when a number of North American and European countries set up screening programmes for phenylketonuria, a rare single-gene disorder which leads to developmental delays and early death if untreated. Such programmes have since been introduced in many other countries around the …

Books

Projit Bihari Mukharji’s Doctoring Traditions: Ayurveda, Small Technologies, and Braided Sciences

Doctoring Traditions: Ayurveda, Small Technologies, and Braided Sciences

Projit Bihari Mukharji

University of Chicago Press, 2016. 376 pages.

 

In a sequel to his 2009 Nationalizing the Body, Projit Bihari Mukharji returns to late-colonial South Asia to investigate the modernization of Ayurvedic science and medicine in Doctoring Traditions: Ayurveda, Small Technologies, and Braided Sciences. This time, Mukharji plunges …

Web Roundups

Web Roundup: Death, Life, and the Immortal Brain

Among the many tech-focused booths at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) early this year, one stood out in particular: an exhibition of manufactured bodies, or “sleeves,” into which someone could theoretically download their consciousness. The exhibition was a promotion for the new Netflix series Altered Carbon, a science fiction saga set 300 years in the future where individuals can …

Features

Laboratory capacity building and the open hardware movement

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Through my work in African laboratories I am regularly made aware of the challenging equipment shortages faced by research laboratories in many low/middle-income countries (LMICs). This extends far beyond the absence of “state-of-the-art” equipment and shiny, new models regularly produced by commercial companies. These shortages include the availability of what would normally be considered ubiquitous laboratory equipment – PCR machines, …

Features

Global Health Diagnostics: Workshop Summary

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On January 17th, 2018, participants from the UK, Europe, and India gathered in Edinburgh for “Investigating Diagnostic Devices in Global Health”, a workshop that also marked the launch of the ERC funded DiaDev project. Hosted by the DiaDev team, Alice Street, Ann Kelly, Nanda Kannuri and Eva Vernooij, the multi-disciplinary workshop …

Features

The Testing Revolution: Investigating Diagnostic Devices in Global Health

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The origins of laboratory medicine are often traced to the establishment of a small clinical laboratory in Guy’s Hospital, London, in 1828. Here, in a small side-room, medical students used sterilisers, incubators and microscopes to identify bacteriological organisms in biological samples taken from the patients in the ward next door. In this simple removal of bodily fluid from the patient’s …