iPS cell technology to elucidate mechanisms of longevity and related diseases

January 12, 2018, Keio University

Regenerative medicine is a broad term used to describe approaches to repair or replace damaged or diseased human cells or tissues. This can be achieved through a variety of approaches, including the use of stem cells and stimulating the body's own repair mechanisms. Due to its wide implications in science, technology and ethics, regenerative medicine has attracted the attention of a multitude of 'stakeholders' from scientists and physicians to those involved in ethical, legal and social implications (ELSI).

In a recent review, Douglas Sipp from the Keio University School of Medicine in Tokyo, Japan, and his colleagues from the University of British Columbia, McGill University, the University of Miami, the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, the University of Alberta, the University of Montreal, the University of Ottawa and the University of Regina, give an overview of past initiatives relating to social, ethical and legal aspects of and offer their view on future priorities.

Even countries that have shown leadership and have established policies, such as Canada, are now facing a shift in the landscape of regenerative due to fast scientific advances such as those relating to induced pluripotent (iPSCs) and targeted genome editing using novel techniques such as CRISPR/Cas9.

A key aspect for the advancement of the field is collaboration between scientists and and those within the ELSI community. Training of both sides to collaborate is being explored in Canada, which is looking to launch a training series to familiarise social scientists with the laboratory workflow and laboratory-based scientist with the problems facing those who deal with ethical and social aspects of the field. The authors also suggest adding experts from these different disciplines to grant applications.

Credit: Keio University

Fast scientific advancements in the field have left many laws and policies as being outdated. Hence, the authors call for leaders in the international regenerative medicine community, such as the International Society for Stem Cell Research, to look at existing policies and consider reforming them to keep-up with the rapid technological advances that are taking place.

In the age of social media, the perception of regenerative medicine and the questions it raises are easily communicated to the public, but in some cases, can also be distorted. Therefore, the authors suggest "the ELSI community can and should play a role both by studying the impact of these new modes of popular media and engaging directly with the broader public and patient communities through participation in virtual communities and networks."

Credit: Keio University

Explore further: Canada continues to punch above its weight in the field of regenerative medicine

More information: Judy Illes et al. A blueprint for the next generation of ELSI research, training, and outreach in regenerative medicine, npj Regenerative Medicine (2017). DOI: 10.1038/s41536-017-0026-z

Related Stories

Canada continues to punch above its weight in the field of regenerative medicine

March 9, 2017
A new workshop report, Building on Canada's Strengths in Regenerative Medicine, released today by the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA), confirms that Canadian researchers continue to be recognized as scientific leaders ...

The next frontier in facial plastic, reconstructive surgery

August 11, 2016
Is regenerative medicine the next frontier in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery?

Fetal membranes may help transform regenerative medicine

August 30, 2017
A new review looks at the potential of fetal membranes, which make up the amniotic sac surrounding the fetus during pregnancy, for regenerative medicine.

The expanding influence of genomics on society

May 4, 2017
From prenatal genetic screening to the genetic testing of women with family histories of breast cancer, genomics is rapidly becoming a fixture in our lives. The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) has, since ...

Regenerative Medicine highlights the immunological challenges that lie ahead for RegenMed

May 8, 2015
The journal Regenerative Medicine has published a special focus issue on methods to avoid immune rejection in regenerative medicine.

Recommended for you

Advanced sensor to unlock the secrets of the brain

April 24, 2018
Researchers have announced the development of a state-of-the-art sensor that can for the first time detect signalling molecules, called cytokines, which operate in the living brain. Cytokines in the brain are secreted by ...

Scientists manipulate 'satellite cells' to speed healing

April 24, 2018
Muscle aches and pains, whether from stretching, strenuous exercise or just normal wear and tear, can put a crimp in your day, a limp in your step and be an actual pain in the neck. But no matter the severity, stem cells ...

New cell therapy aids heart recovery—without implanting cells

April 23, 2018
Heart disease is a major global health problem—myocardial infarction annually affects more than one million people in the U.S. alone, and there is still no effective treatment. The adult human heart cannot regenerate itself ...

DOR protein deficiency favors the development of obesity

April 20, 2018
Obesity is a world health problem. Excessive accumulation of fat tissue (adipose tissue) increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes and some types of cancer. However, some obese individuals are less ...

Stem-cell technology aids 3-D printed cartilage repair

April 20, 2018
Novel stem-cell technology developed at Swinburne will be used to grow the massive number of stem cells required for a new hand-held 3-D printer that will enable surgeons to create patient-specific bone and cartilage.

Researchers identify blood biomarkers that may help diagnose, confirm concussions

April 20, 2018
Researchers from the University of California, Irvine, Georgetown University and the University of Rochester have found that specific small molecules in blood plasma may be useful in determining whether someone has sustained ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.