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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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.

The need for dialogue

CiRA Reporter Vol.13
January 26, 2018
Mika Suzuki
Recently, the word “dialogue” has been on my mind. For example, the other morning I was watching the news and heard that a disagreement between two parties would be resolved by dialogue. But the news never explained what type of dialogue. Is it chatting while enjoying tea together?

The symbiosis of the artificial and the natural

CiRA Reporter Vol.12
October 26, 2017
Jusaku Minari
The news has been giving lots of attention to artificial intelligence recently. AI has spread to all sorts of industries, from entertainment to business, law and order, national defense, and of course medicine.

Who decides what is permissible? Genome editing of human embryos

CiRA Reporter Vol.11
July 12, 2017
Yoshimi Yashiro
In my previous essay, I discussed issues surrounding genome editing. By chance, the topic has since received inordinate media attention, bringing it to the forefront of scientific research to the general public.