CiRA Reporter

The Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA) publishes a quarterly newsletter in which our members contribute an essay on current bioethical issues for readers unfamiliar with the field.



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Peer-review and the COVID-19 Pandemic

CiRA Reporter Vol.25
January 29, 2021
Kazuki Ide
The publication of peer-reviewed papers is the primary way through which scientists publicly share their research findings. Before this happens, other experts will review the paper and decide whether the paper should be published (i.e. peer review).

The Fashion of Ethics

CiRA Reporter Vol.24
October 29, 2020
Jusaku Minari
In one of his books, the philosopher Kiyokazu Washida introduces the new potentials or implications of words. For example, he writes about the Japanese word “sara,” which roughly means “new” in English.

Corona Virus and Regenerative Medicine

CiRA Reporter Vol.23
July 31, 2020
Misao Fujita
The pandemic caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused changes to daily lives throughout the world. These changes have led to an urgency for new drugs and vaccines.

Patient and Public Involvement (PPI)

CiRA Reporter Vol.22
April 30, 2020
Kayo Takashima
A new initiative is giving greater consideration to patient experiences and opinions in future medical treatments.

The History of Informed Consent

CiRA Reporter Vol.21
January 30, 2020
Taichi Hatta
For new drugs and medical treatments to reach the market, they must be first tested for their safety and efficacy on a number of human volunteers in clinical trials. To perform the trials, the participating doctors and researchers must adequately explain to the volunteers the purpose and risk of the trial and receive agreement from the volunteers.

What is needed for social consensus

CiRA Reporter Vol.20
October 29, 2019
Kyoko Akatsuka
A major scientific or medical discovery will often be followed by experts on the topic expressing their opinions on television or in the newspapers. While these opinions are important, so too are those of the general public. This is especially true when the technology has the potential to greatly affect society’s values.

Relaxation of regulations for chimeric embryo research in Japan

CiRA Reporter Vol.19
July 30, 2019
Tsutomu Sawai
This past March 1, the Japanese government relaxed its regulation on chimeric embryo research, making it legally easier to create human organs in animals.

Sharing thoughts to a scientist you have never met

CiRA Reporter Vol.18
April 26, 2019
Mika Suzuki
In Japan, there is very strong support of iPS cell research and clinical application from the general public. Much of this support is attributed to a favourable approval rating CiRA Director Shinya Yamanaka.

Monkeying with clones

CiRA Reporter Vol.15
July 25, 2018
Tsutomu Sawai
In February, the journal Cell published a paper about the first monkey clone. While other animals have been cloned in the past, including Dolly the Sheep in 1997, none are as evolutionary close to humans as monkeys.

Clinic websites mislead about stem cell therapies

CiRA Reporter Vol.14
April 27, 2018
Taichi Hatta
Continuing advances in stem cell research has added to the expectation of these cells becoming a common form of therapy used in the clinic. However, society demands scientific proof before an experimental therapy is used on humans.