Relocation, realignment and standardisation: circuits of translation in Huntington’s Disease
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Based on complementary ethnographies of a biomedical laboratory and a clinic – both working on Huntington Disease (HD) – we discuss the circuits of translation evident in biomedical and clinical research. By examining a recent epistemological shift from understanding the disease as genetic to understanding the disease as a problem for neuroscience, as well as documenting the multiple framings of the disease that migrate between the laboratory and the clinic, we emphasise the complexity involved in the movement of biomedical science into clinical work. We stress that this is not a one-way flow from the colloquially known bench to bedside, but is dependent on a cluster of contextual activities and local actors. We also stress the extent to which global collaborations, standardisation and regulatory frameworks can facilitate such framing and migration by aligning local practices and different disciplinary outlooks. We take a sociological perspective on translational processes – or rather to an expanded understanding of translation – to capture the material flows and conceptual transformations that are involved in the complex relationships between fundamental and clinical research.
Social Theory and Health
Lewis, J., Hughes, J. and Atkinson, P. (2014) 'Relocation, realignment and standardisation: circuits of translation in Huntington’s disease', Social Theory & Health, 12(4), pp.396-415.
This article was published in Social Theory and Health in November 2014 (online), available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/sth.2014.13
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