The Niche

Italian court rebuffs stem-cell scientists; Australian Stem Cell Centre restarts

Italian court sidesteps challenge

Three Italian scientists who sued their government over the mysterious insertion of language banning human embryonic stem cell research have been told that individuals cannot challenge funding policy. (For descriptions of the administrative court’s decision see Nature’s News in Brief or ScienceInsider)

See Nature’s news story on the scientists’ decision to sue

Latest Australian stem cell plan revealed

The Australian Stem Cell Centre has not had an easy time, but it’s just announced its plan going forward. According to the Australian newspaper, its board resigned en masse in September last year, shortly after sacking its chief executive officer for favoring commercial activities over more basic research.

The new board was announced this spring.

Now the Centre has announced plans to fund large collaborations with a focus on four areas:

1. Ways to propagate stem cells (i.e. bioreactors and growing surfaces)

2. Ways to make pluripotent stem cells

3. Ways to differentiate pluripotent stem cells

4. Studying adult stem cells and applying insights gleaned from one organ to other organs

The Centre, which was founded in 2002, has been awarded AU$111 in state and federal funding, to be paid in installments over that time.


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