In recent times, techniques in synthetic biology have transformed human biological materials into commodities and commercial goods, where new uses for human tissue are constantly being discovered and tested.
Gene CHP-48/OZ-378 is a fictional legal case where human tissue becomes the ultimate battlefield between government and corporations, at the expense of the individual. This work questions fundamental legal, social and ethical values - where the State assumes ownership of the person, 'in the public interest.'
9:30AM, Hall 4, The Supreme Court of Iceland, Reykjavik.
'Johanna Gungsmusdorrir, you stand charged with five counts of High Treason. This offence carries a sentence of life imprisonment. How do you plead, guilty or not guilty?' 'Not guilty!', shouted the furious young Icelandic woman standing in the dock.
Johanna, a citizen of Iceland, discovers that her DNA contains a one-off gene: CHP-48/0Z-378. In 2000, the Icelandic government passed a law, granting a global leader in human genetics, DeCode, the right to own and commercialize the entire population's genes. Appalled by these events, Johanna refuses to comply with the rules imposed by the Icelandic government, and decides to submit her body to a foreign nation for unusual experimentation.
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