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Promising GenomicsIceland and deCODE Genetics in a World of Speculation$
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Michael Fortun and Roberto Reis

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780520247505

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520247505.001.0001

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(p.54) Ch 5 KáriXdeCODE
Promising Genomics

Mike Fortun

University of California Press

If the distinction between the promised Health Sector Database and the corporate entity deCODE Genetics was a fine one, that between deCODE and its CEO Kári Stefánsson was practically fissureless. This near conflation between CEO and corporation was not unusual in the 1990s. One need only think of Michael Dell and Dell Computers, Jeff Bezos and Amazon.com, Larry Ellison and Oracle, or Bill Gates and Microsoft. While Kári and deCODE did not share the popular appeal that these Internet and computer CEOXcorporations did, the fortunes of the bioinformatics-intensive genomic companies of the late 1990s could be just as tightly bound to the celebrity status of their CEOs as the more generic informatics-intensive companies. Here in the lava land of genomics, all roads seem to lead to Iceland. A year before Craig Venter and his company Celera were lionized in The New Yorker, Michael Specter profiled that other celebrated genomic amalgam, KáriXdeCODE.

Keywords:   Health Sector Database, deCODE Genetics, CEOs, Kári Stefánsson, Iceland, genomics, genomic companies, Craig Venter, Celera, Michael Specter

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