After the first isolation of human embryonic stem cells was reported in 1998, many countries reviewed their national policies regarding human embryo research. During this process, several countries amended current policies or created new policies to specifically address human embryonic stem cell research. These policies can be classified in three broad categories: restrictive, permissive with limits, or permissive. Over this 13 year period, there has been a global trend to transition policies from restrictive to more permissive. These shifts have occurred due to the efforts of scientists who have advocated for policy harmonization. While countries still possess a range of policies, this attempt towards harmonization has had a positive impact on the field by improving the quality and quantity of international scientific collaborations. This talk will review national stem cell policies, describe how international collaborations have been fostered under such policies, and discuss the impact of these international collaborations in the field of stem cell research.


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  • Received: 05 March 2012
  • Accepted: 28 March 2012
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