The many stories about genomics which increasingly appear on television, in newspapers and magazines, and on the Internet reinforce the standard story that this is an industry based on “genetic information.” Genetic information, it is said, will provide a foundation for new drugs, new diagnostic kits, and new forms of therapy. But to the extent that the genomic industry is “based” on anything, it would be more accurate to say that it is based on the promise of genetic information—based on what genetic information may become in an anticipated, contingent, and open future. This begins to account for why the value of companies such as Celera Genomics, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Incyte Genomics, and deCODE Genetics are “story stocks,” dependent not only on genetic technologies but on that other set of technologies for simultaneously producing and evaluating anticipated, contingent futures: literary technologies. Genomic companies, like their dot-com cousins that also emerged in the speculative economy of the 1990s, operated in the discursive space of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission makes disclosure necessary.
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