A metaphorical history of DNA patents

Ivo Silvestro


The aim of this paper is to retrace the history of genetic patents, analyzing the metaphors used in the public debate, in patent offices, and in courtrooms. I have identified three frames with corresponding metaphor clusters: the first is the industrial frame, built around the idea that DNA is a chemical; the second is the informational frame, assembled around the concept of genetic information; last is the soul frame, based on the idea that DNA is or contains the essence of the individual.


DNA, DNA metaphors, patents, information


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