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ISSCR Releases Updated Guidelines for Stem Cell Research

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News

ISSCR Releases Updated Guidelines for Stem Cell Research

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The International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) has released updated guidelines for stem cell research and its translation to medicine. The update reflects emerging advances including, stem cell-based embryo models, human embryo research, chimeras, organoids, and genome editing.

“The 2021 update presents practical advice for oversight of research posing unique scientific and ethical issues for researchers and the public,” said Robin Lovell-Badge, PhD, FRS, Chair, ISSCR Guidelines task force and Senior Group Leader and Head of the Division of Stem Cell Biology and Developmental Genetics at The Francis Crick Institute, UK. “They provide confidence to researchers, clinicians, and the public alike that stem cell science can proceed responsibly, ethically, and remain responsive to public and patient interests,” he said.

Scientists, research organizations, and scientific journals have long relied upon the ISSCR Guidelines as the international standard for scientific and ethical rigor, oversight, and transparency in stem cell research. The guidelines also provide a basis for implementation of new regulatory frameworks in countries without existing oversight systems. Adherence to the guidelines provides assurance that research is conducted with integrity and new therapies are safe, effective, and evidence-based.

“This is a significant update, building upon the society’s longstanding commitment to excellence in all areas of stem cell research.” said Christine Mummery, PhD, ISSCR president and professor of Developmental Biology at Leiden University Medical Center, the Netherlands. “The updates address new methods of understanding fundamental biological processes that may ultimately lead to the alleviation of debilitating diseases and disorders.”

The 2021 ISSCR Guidelines update is the result of a two-year collaboration with international experts and respected leaders in areas of stem cell science, ethics, and law, and was peer-reviewed by scientists and ethicists from 14 countries. They are publicly available at isscr.org/guidelines.

Reference: Lovell-Badge R. Stem-cell guidelines: why it was time for an update. Nature. 2021;593(7860):479-479. doi: 10.1038/d41586-021-01387-z

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