Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Social scientists study impact of human adult stem cell research

Date:
June 10, 2011
Source:
National Science Foundation
Summary:
New research says studying both adult and embryonic stem cells can benefit medical science, but banning the study of either type could harm studies of the other. Researchers recently investigated whether the increased number of studies with a certain type of adult stem cell has changed the overall course of research in the field

New research says studying both adult and embryonic stem cells can benefit medical science, but banning the study of either type could harm studies of the other.

Related Articles


Researchers from the University of Michigan, Stanford University and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. recently investigated whether the increased number of studies with a certain type of adult stem cell has changed the overall course of research in the field.

The researchers analyzed more than 2,000 scientific papers and found adult stem cells are not replacing human embryonic stems cells in the laboratory. Instead, the two cell types have proven to be complementary and any disruption of federal funding, they say, would negatively impact stem cell research overall.

"This is an important study that systematically examines the co-authorship networks of stem cell research articles and uses those to understand the interactions between two complementary areas of research," says Julia Lane, program director for Science of Science & Innovation Policy at the National Science Foundation (NSF), which funded the study.

"It is particularly interesting because it uses new analytical techniques to advance our understanding of how the implementation of policy in one area can affect scientific research in another area."

The research appears in the June 9 journal Cell.

"The incentives to use both types of cell in comparative studies are high," says Jason Owen-Smith, a sociologist at University of Michigan. He notes the science behind adult stem cells that can be "reprogrammed," called human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs), is still in its infancy, having become widely available in 2007.

"As a result, induced pluripotent stem cells do not offer an easy solution to the difficult ethical questions surrounding embryonic stem cell research," he says.

Pluripotent stem cells are those capable of differentiating into any type of tissue, hence the attractiveness of embryonic stem cells, or hESCs, also called ES cells, which are also pluripotent.

The researchers examined stem cell research papers published between 1998 and 2010. They found the proportion of papers using human adult and human embryonic stem cells together is growing faster than those using adult stem cells alone.

In 2008, only 15 or 5.1 percent of all papers examined in the study reported using adult stem cells, and only three of those papers combined the use of human adult and human embryonic stem cells. By 2010, some 161 of 574 or 28 percent of papers reported on studies of both cell technologies, and 62.1 percent of those papers paired adult and embryonic cell lines.

Because use of the two cell types has become so intertwined, any federal policy that would deny funding for embryonic stem cell research "would derail work with a nascent and exciting technology," says Owen-Smith.

If federal funding stops for human embryonic stem cell research, it would have a serious negative impact on adult stem cell research, says Stanford University bioethicist Christopher Scott, one of the paper's co-authors. "We may never be able to choose between iPS and ES cell research because we don't know which type of cell will be best for eventual therapies."

"The whole point with science policy is to have a more scientific basis to understand the impacts of policy decisions on science if and when those decisions are made," says Lane

In addition to NSF, this research was funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, and the Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Science Foundation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Christopher Thomas Scott, Jennifer B. McCormick, Mindy C. DeRouen, Jason Owen-Smith. Democracy Derived? New Trajectories in Pluripotent Stem Cell Research. Cell, 2011; 145 (6): 820-826 DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2011.05.032

Cite This Page:

National Science Foundation. "Social scientists study impact of human adult stem cell research." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110610164642.htm>.
National Science Foundation. (2011, June 10). Social scientists study impact of human adult stem cell research. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 25, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110610164642.htm
National Science Foundation. "Social scientists study impact of human adult stem cell research." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110610164642.htm (accessed April 25, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

85 Killed in Niger by Meningitis Since Start of Year

85 Killed in Niger by Meningitis Since Start of Year

AFP (Apr. 24, 2015) A meningitis outbreak in Niger has killed 85 people since the start of the year prompting authorities to close schools in the capital Niamey until Monday. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
C-Section Births a Trend in Brazil

C-Section Births a Trend in Brazil

AFP (Apr. 24, 2015) More than half of Brazil&apos;s babies are born via cesarean section, as mothers and doctors opt for a faster and less painful experience despite the health risks. Duration: 02:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Anti-Malaria Jab Hope

Anti-Malaria Jab Hope

Reuters - News Video Online (Apr. 24, 2015) The world&apos;s first anti-malaria vaccine could get the go-ahead for use in Africa from October if approved by international regulators. Paul Chapman reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Food Printing: The Meal of the Future?

3D Food Printing: The Meal of the Future?

AP (Apr. 23, 2015) Developers of 3D food printing hope the culinary technology will revolutionize the way we cook and eat. (April 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins