Scientists often use adult, embryonic stem cells in tandem

As usual, real science is messier and less conclusive than public perception allows. There's been a great deal of media attention these days on use of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), otherwise known as adult stem cells, for research into curing diseases as an alternative to human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). Those who oppose use of embryonic stem cell research on political, religious or ethical grounds have touted the reprogramming of adult stem cells as more acceptable to their views. However, as Science reports, a new analysis of scientific literature shows that many researchers choose to use both types of stem cells in their research. In an analysis appearing in the journal Cell, Stanford University researchers found that out of 161 iPSC papers published last year, 100 used both types of cells--usually with hESCs used as controls. The researchers' conclusions: Any ban on human embryonic stem cell research would also ban work on adult stem cells, as well. Article