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[Editorial] Stem cells, regenerative medicine, and Prometheus

The possibility of regeneration fascinates us as much today as it did the ancient Greeks. In the story of Prometheus, an eagle was sent to peck his liver each day as punishment, while at night it regrew. Stem cells have a similar mythical character—part fact, part fantasy—that captures the imagination but also blurs reality. In today’s issue, we publish the Lancet Commission: Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine (published online Oct 4, 2017) to assess advances in the field, including gene therapy, since our last Series on the topic in 2013, and how to plan future developments in a way that both promotes science and protects the public.