As a growing provider of Stem Cell Research Reagents, I am in search of information that cuts through the confusion. My goal is to publish postings that could be of value to my customers and researchers.
On September 5th, Updated Guidelines for Stem Cell Research was released by the National Academies.
One reason for the 2008 modifications is to provide guidance on the derivation and use of new human stem cells that were first developed last year. These cells — called “induced pluripotent cells” — are made by reprogramming nonembryonic adult cells into a stem-cell-like state, in which they can be manipulated to form a wide array of specialized body cells. Although induced pluripotent stem cells can be derived without using embryos, the ethical and policy concerns related to their potential uses are similar to those pertaining to human embryonic stem cells. For example, issues arising from mixing human and animal cells in a single organism are relevant for stem cells from both embryonic and nonembryonic sources. However, derivation of induced pluripotent stem cells does not require special stem cell expertise and is adequately covered by current Institutional Review Board regulations, the report says.
Copies of 2008 Amendments to the National Academies’ Guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research are available from the National Academies Press; tel. 202-334-3313 or 1-800-624-6242 or on the Internet at http://www.nap.edu