South Korea Wants to Become Stem Cell Powerhouse Again

The president of South Korea is putting in place regulatory reforms to help his country regain its places as a powerhouse in stem cell research. South Korea is trying, 5 years after a scandal involving cloning, to reclaim momentum. Ten years ago, along with the United States, had the lead in stem cell research in the whole world.

At one time South Korea had been considered a global leader in stem cell research of human embryonic stem cells. In 2005 it was discovered that a team of scientists had messed with key data in their studies on stem cell cloning. By doing this it sparked a case of fraud that shocked the scientific community and because of this South Korea put stem cell research on hold.

In the next twelve months the government of South Korea will be investing nearly ninety million dollars in the stem cell research program. They are also going to make changes to the regulations to make licensing and clinical procedures much easier. Stem cells are the source for all tissues and cells and are the body’s master cells. Scientists hope that they can harness these stem cells and use them to treat a variety of disorders, diseases, and injuries. Stem cell research will give people who have intractable and rare diseases hope.

The South Korean government plans to create a national stem cell bank which will be used to produce, supply, and preserve stem cells to the various researches in South Korea on a continual basis. The stem cell medication was approved by the KFDA in July for the world’s first clinical use. It was for a treatment for victims of heart attacks.