Genome Presence: The Work of a Diagnostic/Iconic Image
Martin, Aryn E.
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This paper is an exploration the work of a potent image: the human-instrumental-material work required to produce a karyotype, as well as the work done by the image, both in clinical settings, and as a public emblem of "the human genome". In keeping with theoretical accounts of the visual in science studies, I conduct an ethnographic exploration of the resolution of ambiguous bodies into their genomic portrait. Next, I leave the specific context of the image's production to speculate on the existence of "genome presence", which, much like "fetal presence", relies on public consumption of newly visible objects.