Stem Cell Reviews and Reports

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 299–304 | Cite as

Stem Cell Policy Exceptionalism: Proceed with Caution

  • Geoffrey P. Lomax
  • Steven R. Peckman


The term “stem cell exceptionalism” has been used to characterize the policy response to controversies surrounding human embryonic stem cell research. For example, governments and funding agencies have adopted policies governing the derivation and use of human embryonic stem cell lines. These policies have effectively served to fill gaps in existing guidelines and regulations and signal that scientists are committed to a responsible framework for the conduct of research involving human embryos. Recent publications discuss whether ethical and policy issues associated with induced pluripotent cells (iPSCs) from non-embryonic sources create a need for further policy intervention. We suggest many of the issues identified by commentators may be addressed through the application of established policy frameworks governing the use of tissue, human stem cells, and research participation by human research subjects. To the extent, iPSC research intersects with hESC research (e.g. the creation of human gametes and/or embryos), the policy framework governing hESC appears sufficiently robust at this time.


Stem cell Ethics Research oversight Induced pluripotent cells Human subjects Embryonic stem cell Research policy Human subjects 



The authors would like to acknowledge the time and effort taken by the reviewers to proved comprehensive comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.California Institute for Regenerative MedicineSan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell ResearchUniversity of California, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

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