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Abstract

The study of stem cells is one of the most exciting areas of contemporary biomedical research. During the 3rd Joint Meeting of Stem Cell Research Italy (June 2012, Ferrara, Italy), scientists from different multidisciplinary areas explored new frontiers of basic and applied stem cell research with key lectures and oral presentations. There was a public debate on ethics during the opening ceremony, specifically on the limits and potentialities of adult and embryonic stem cells. Some scientists presented basic research data showing evolutionary aspects, which could be of interest in understanding specific biological phenomena. Others focused on “dangerous liaisons” between gene transfer vectors and the human genome. Some speakers provided insight into current stem cell therapies, such as those involving human epithelial stem cells for treatment of skin diseases. Other researchers presented data on close-to-therapy findings, such as the use of mesenchymal stem cells in brain repair. Of note, during the meeting, spotlights were focused on major issues that have to be considered for GMP stem cell production for cell therapy. In “Meet the Expert” sessions, specialists presented innovative technologies such as a next-generation sequencing system. Finally, the meeting provided an excellent opportunity for young scientists to show their findings, and to discuss with each other and with internationally recognized experts. J. Cell. Physiol. 228: 911–914, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.