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Calibrating cancer risk, uncertainty and environments: Genetics and their contexts in southern Brazil

Gibbon, SE; (2018) Calibrating cancer risk, uncertainty and environments: Genetics and their contexts in southern Brazil. BioSocieties , 13 (4) pp. 761-779. 10.1057/s41292-017-0095-7. Green open access

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Abstract

Drawing on empirical ethnographic research in Brazil this paper examines how in the spaces between identifying genetic markers and conditional cancer risk, environments and diverse epigenetic logics are emerging and being negotiated among research and clinical communities, patients and their families. Focusing on an arena of research and medical intervention related to a gene variant known as R337h, thought to occur with high frequency in the south of Brazil and linked to the cancer syndrome Li-Fraumeni, it emphasises the relevance of examining epigenetics as an emic category but also its utility as an analytic category. It shows how in a context of not yet fully knowing how and in what ways R337h contributes to increased cancer, a range of different ‘environments’ are invoked that unevenly articulate an emerging and still inchoate and unfolding terrain of understanding. In an arena of expanding genomic research and medicine, where the identification of low risk mutations associated with cancer is increasingly common, the Brazilian case provides a particular lens on the way environments and genes are being meaningfully calibrated and how differently implicated communities resourcefully populate the gaps in knowledge and understanding with consequences for research, care and embodied risk.

Type: Article
Title: Calibrating cancer risk, uncertainty and environments: Genetics and their contexts in southern Brazil
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1057/s41292-017-0095-7
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1057/s41292-017-0095-7
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10057039
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