Keywords: stem cells, regenerative medicine, public pressures, regulatory framework, UK, United Kingdom, USA, United States, stem cell research, therapeutic products, patents, investment, media coverage, legal framework
Blazing the trail from stem cell research to regenerative medicine
Stem cell research holds promise for applications in regenerative medicine. However many questions remain. For example, will it be possible to patent therapeutic products in this area? Will the necessary investment be forthcoming? In addition there are still many technical problems to be solved. Technical solutions may involve the use of human embryos and this has created barriers to the use of the technology in a number of countries. There is already a need for the progressive development of appropriate legal and regulatory frameworks to allow both the scientific and clinical research to move forward. Some countries are actively encouraging the developments, for example, the UK. In the USA, although the present government is opposed, State and charitable funding is flowing into this area. In this paper we briefly review the issues surrounding stem cell developments and discuss the possible implications of the trends in media coverage.