Here’s a great review about those new “induced pleuripotent stem cells” (iPS) we’ve been hearing about. iPS’s are truly “patient specific stem cells” since they come from the patient himself or herself. The cells are manipulated in the lab, using viral particles and specific environments to make the able to become many different types of cells.
It would be very difficult, in my opinion, to make these cells become embryos, with all the structures that would allow them to function as individual organisms. From what I understand, the cells return to a state that allows them to become tissues with several different types of cells and cell groups, but they are never organized.
In my opinion (again), the induction process can’t be more of a problem than the risk of immune rejection and the manipulations that embryos derived from In Vitro fertilization go through or the changes that are bound to be inherent with cloned cells derived through Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer. On the other hand, volunteers and tissue samples for IPC experiments ought to be abundant.
And no one has to die for it.