Ethics and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
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The recent development of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and related technologies has caught the attention of scientists, activists, politicians, and ethicists alike. IPSCs gained immediate international attention for their apparent similarity to embryonic stem cells after their successful creation in 2006 by Shinya Yamanaka and in 2007 by James Thompson and others. Although iPSCs may appear to solve the controversy over the destruction of embryos in embryonic stem cell (ESC) research by involving only the genetic reprogramming of somatic cells, further analysis of the new technique and its subsequent ethical issues could potentially lessen some ethical advantages iPSCs seemingly hold over ESCs.