Recent developments in stem cell research suggest that it may be time to reconsider the current focus of stem cell induction strategies. During the previous five years, approximately, the induction of pluripotency in somatic cells, i.e.
, the generation of so-called ‘induced pluripotent stem cells’ (iPSCs), has become the focus of ongoing research in many stem cell laboratories, because this technology promises to overcome limitations (both technical and ethical) seen in the production and use of embryonic stem cells (ESCs). A rapidly increasing number of publications suggest, however, that it is now possible to choose instead other, alternative ways of generating stem and progenitor cells bypassing pluripotency. These new strategies may offer important advantages with respect to ethics, as well as to safety considerations. The present communication discusses why these strategies may provide possibilities for an escape from the dilemma presented by pluripotent stem cells (self-organization potential, cloning by tetraploid complementation, patenting problems and tumor formation risk).