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Stem Cell Science and Innovation Done Responsibly and ... The time has come for the U.S. to renew its promise of global life sciences leadership. With the ascendancy of the Obama administration and a more progressive Congress, the opportunity for renewal has never been greater. The United States must now stake its claim as the world leader in regenerative medicine, which is almost certain to become a vital component of cutting edge biomedical innovation in the 21st century. To ensure that the research in this newly emerging field of the life sciences is conducted responsibly and ethically, the federal government must reform its stem cell research policy and fund embryonic stem cell research in a manner that is robust and comprehensive as well as cautious and principled. The greatest potential for regenerative medicine lies in the ability of scientists to tap into the process of cell differentiation and development. This can only be achieved by tracing the development of human cells from the very beginning. To do so, scientists need to conduct research on embryonic stem cells so that they can discover how these all-purpose “pluripotent” cells can change into any one of over two hundred different cell types in the human body. Indeed, this research will provide us with unprecedented insights into human development, how it can go wrong, and how it can be fixed—perhaps leading to 21st century medicine's biggest paradigm shift. Featured Panelists: Amy Comstock Rick, President, Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research John Gearhart, Director, Institute for Regenerative Medicine and the James W. Effron University Professor, University of Pennsylvania Moderated By: Michael J. Rugnetta, Fellows Assistant, Progressive Bioethics Initiative, Center for American Progress
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