The dawn of regenerative medicine
Regenerative medicine based on the use of stem cells to reconstruct tissues takes up an important challenge, i.e. the development of advanced effective therapies for rare, genetic and degenerative diseases that are still incurable. It is an approach based on solid basic research on the biochemical, molecular and cellular mechanisms of these diseases and a combination of state-of-the-art technologies of cellular and genetic engineering applied to stem cells. Some results have been achieved also in Italy, with the development of new therapies for corneal burns, immunodeficiencies and epidermolysis bullosa. To the detriment of our Italian scientific excellence, there are still limitations to research freedom that affect the opportunities to study and use embryonic stem cells, already used abroad in several clinical trials, based on “pseudo-ethical” reasons that are scientifically groundless.