Media report high hopes for adult stem cells

Despite recent reports that reprogrammed iPS stem cells--or adult stem cells--might not be as much of a magic bullet as once thought, they continue to capture the imagination as a possible way to bypass the ethical and political issues associated with embryonic stem cell research. In fact, some are predicting that Shinya Yamanaka, who developed the process of reprogramming adult skin cells into stem cells in 2007, will win the Nobel Prize. Alok Jha of the Guardian's Observer titled one article, "Look, no embryos! The future of ethical stem cells," thus reflecting the optimism that a decade of stem cell stagnation is finally over--in part because of the possibilities in iPS. Paul Fairchild, co-director of the newly founded Oxford Stem Cell Institute, tells Jha that further disappointment is not an option. "It's an exciting time in stem cell biology for a host of reasons," he told the Observer. "We've entered a whole new phase in the stem cell field, which has been held up enormously by ethical issues for over a decade." Article