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China a rising star in regenerative medicine despite world skepticism of stem cell therapies
Date:1/7/2010

This release is available in Chinese.

Chinese researchers have become the world's fifth most prolific contributors to peer-reviewed scientific literature on clock-reversing regenerative medicine even as a skeptical international research community condemns the practice of Chinese clinics administering unproven stem cell therapies to domestic and foreign patients.

According to a study by the Canadian-based McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health (MRC), published today by the UK journal Regenerative Medicine, China's government is pouring dollars generously into regenerative medicine (RM) research and aggressively recruiting high-calibre scientists trained abroad in pursuit of its ambition to become a world leader in the field.

And its strategy is working: Chinese contributions to scientific journals on RM topics leapt from 37 in year 2000 to 1,116 in 2008, exceeded only by the contributions of experts in the USA, Germany, Japan and the UK.

The accomplishment is all the more astonishing given that China's international credibility has been and still is severely hindered by global concerns surrounding Chinese clinics, where unproven therapies continue to be administered to thousands of patients.

New rules to govern such treatments were recently instituted but need to be strictly enforced in order to repair China's global reputation, according to MRC authors Dominique S. McMahon, Halla Thorsteinsdttir, Peter A. Singer and Abdallah S. Daar.

They drew their conclusions after having gained unprecedented access to almost 50 Chinese researchers, policy makers, clinicians, company executives and regulators for interviews. The research was made possible by funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

"When you look at the issue of stem cells in China, you see the Yin-Yang of a scientific
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Contact: Terry Collins
terrycollins@rogers.com
416-538-8712
Program on Life Sciences, Ethics and Policy,McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health
Source:Eurekalert

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