Feb 27, 2010

Tracing the shifting sands of 'medical genetics': what's in a name?

Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
William Leeming

Abstract

This paper focuses on the structural development of institution-based interest in genetics in Anglo-North American medicine after 1930 concomitantly with an analysis of the changes through which ideas about heredity and the hereditary transmission of diseases in families have passed. It maintains that the unfolding relationship between medicine and genetics can best be understood against the background of the shift in emphasis in conceptualisations of recurring patterns of disease in families from 'biological relatedness' to 'related to chromosomes and genes'. The paper begins with brief considerations of the historical confluences of, first, heredity and medicine and, second, genetics and medicine which, in a third section, leads to a discussion about a uniquely 'genetics-based approach' to medicine in the second half of the twentieth century.

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  • References22
  • Citations2

Citations

Mentioned in this Paper

Metabolic Process, Cellular
Inborn Errors of Metabolism
Prenatal Care brand of multivitamin
Cytogenetics
Enzymes, antithrombotic
Cytological Techniques
Congenital Neurologic Anomalies
Test, Cytology, Digestive
Medical Genetics Specialty
Genetic Screening Method

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