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Stefan Beck

Abstract

On the basis of empirical research using a screening programme for a genetic disorder (Cystic Fibrosis) in a Cypriot village as a case-in-point, the paper evaluates
the influence of genetic information for concepts of heredity and kinship practices. Far from being simple receivers of biomedical knowledge, participants of the
screening programme blended traditional, analogous concepts of blood relations between kin with scientific, digital concepts of 'passing-on genetic information' from
generation to generation, creating a new mode of hereditary thinking, bodily concepts, and practices of relating oneself with others. On the backdrop of the
unique experiences with the established screening programme for Thalassaemia on the island, most participants felt a pervasive moral obligation for all encompassing
"genetic transparency". While this might constitute a bioethicist's nightmare, it is argued that Cypriot modernity produced a unique "genetic citizenship" which might
afford critical resources for coping with the prospects of an ongoing geneticisation. 

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