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How cells became records: standardization and infrastructure in tissue culture

Acker, A (2015) How cells became records: standardization and infrastructure in tissue culture. Archival Science, 15 (1). 1 - 24. ISSN 1389-0166

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This article follows the history of tissue culture through its standardization as a technology, instrument, and ubiquitous object of reference for scientists working with cells. It identifies how human cells are established as cell lines and become records. As information infrastructure, cell lines have consequences for key archival concepts that rely on narratives of origin, bodies, and recorded information. The article contributes to a theory of the record by looking at cells in functional contexts of tissue culture, from the establishment of reference lines to the identification of cross-culture contamination, to their storage and dissemination. It puts forth a theory of the biorecord by examining acts of formalization in the standardization of scientific recordkeeping in biotechnology. The paper speaks to archival studies of scientific recordkeeping and argues for an expansion of research that examines nonprototypical records in functional contexts of creation, use, and processes of standardization.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Acker, Aaacker@pitt.eduAACKER
Date: 1 March 2015
Date Type: Publication
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Journal or Publication Title: Archival Science
Volume: 15
Number: 1
Page Range: 1 - 24
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1007/s10502-013-9213-x
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Information Sciences > Library and Information Science
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1389-0166
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2014 15:20
Last Modified: 30 Mar 2021 13:55


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