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Trends Mol Med. 2019 Mar;25(3):165-167. doi: 10.1016/j.molmed.2019.01.005. Epub 2019 Feb 6.

Stem Cell-Derived Human Gametes: The Public Engagement Imperative.

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Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University, 272 George St., Providence, RI 02906, USA. Electronic address:
Harvard Law School, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA.
Department of Molecular Genetics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.
Departments of Physiology, Development, and Neuroscience, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.
Department of Developmental Stem Cell Biology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan.


The implications of scientific breakthroughs are rarely faced up to in advance of their realization. Stem cell-derived human gametes, a disruptive technology in waiting, are likely to recapitulate this historic pattern absent active intervention. Herein we call for the conduct of thoughtful ante hoc deliberations on the prospect of stem cell-derived human gametes with an eye toward minimizing potential untoward post hoc regulatory or statutory impositions.


gametes; in vitro gametogenesis; stem cells

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