EDITORIAL

Emerging stem cell ethics

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Science  22 Jun 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6395, pp. 1275
DOI: 10.1126/science.aau4720

Summary

It has been 20 years since the first derivation of human embryonic stem cells. That milestone marked the start of a scientific and public fascination with stem cells, not just for their biological properties but also for their potentially transformative medical uses. The next two decades of stem cell research animated an array of bioethical debates, from the destruction of embryos to derive stem cells to the creation of human-animal hybrids. Ethical tensions related to stem cell clinical translation and regulatory policy are now center stage and a topic of global discussion this week at the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) annual meeting in Melbourne, Australia. Care must be taken to ensure that entry of stem cell–based products into the medical marketplace does not come at too high a human or monetary price.

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