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September 23, 2009

September 23 is Stem Cell Awareness Day

Many of us are well aware of the incredible speed of scientific advancement in the field of stem cells. It gleans regular attention in the media – a Google News search can quickly return hundreds of items within any 24-hour period. So why a day dedicated to stem cell awareness?

Because, despite the plethora of information, there is still misinformation – particularly regarding unrealistic promises being made in certain jurisdictions around the world. This is one of the reasons Monash University in Australia and the California Regenerative Medicine Institute organized the first Stem Cell Awareness Day in 2008. The goal was to foster greater understanding of stem cells within the global community, by finding ways for patients, scientists, ethicists, clinicians and the general public to engage in conversations.

This year, Stem Cell Awareness Day has grown – like cells in culture – with events that include poetry and photography contests, guest lectures, lab tours, webcasts, conference activities and the launch of the Stem Cell Charter. Through the Charter, anybody with web access can pledge their support for the advancement of stem cell research for the benefit of humankind.

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