Archive by category | Ethics

NIH stem cell guidelines please scientists

The NIH guidelines in effect as of 7 July don’t specify exactly which human embryonic stem cell lines can be studied with federal funding, but researchers are still pleased. Not only will more lines be eligible for funding, now the NIH has said it will make the time-consuming call of whether embryos used to create lines were donated under fundable criteria (appropriate informed consent, creation for reproductive purposes, donated without financial inducements.) That’s a huge relief for ethics committees at individual universities that might otherwise do redundant, difficult work.  Read more

New York pays for eggs for stem cells: unsaid or buried

Both the Washington Post and the New York Times are running articles today on the state’s decision to pay women up to $10,000 for donating eggs for stem cell research. (The Post is the stronger article, but most of the nuances are on the second page). This was covered last week in the Niche and the Great Beyond.)  … Read more

New York stem cell committee approves payments for eggs

Cross-posted from the Great Beyond The New York Empire State Stem Cell Board (ESSCB) has approved the use of state funds to compensate women who donate eggs for embryonic stem cell research. The board, which implements New York’s $600 million stem cell research initiative, reached the decision on 11 June. Board members noted that taxpayer funds are already used to compensate some egg donors in state-subsidized in vitro fertilization programs. They also emphasized that researchers in other states that do not allow payment for eggs – including Massachusetts and California — have largely failed to recruit donors. Nevertheless, the decision  … Read more

Rebuttal to President’s Council criticism of Obama expansion of stem cell research

Last week, ten members of Bush’s Council on Bioethics issued a statement criticizing President Obama’s lifting of the funding ban on human embryonic stem cell research.The statement, posted by the Hastings Center, is available here. See also our previous post.  Read more

Moral objections to hybrid embryo research claims rejected

Posted on the Great Beyond for Natasha Gilbert Reports in the British media that grant applications to create hybrid human – animal embryos for research were turned down on moral grounds, have been rejected by the funding bodies and scientists involved. The story broke in the Independent newspaper on Monday, which claimed Stephen Minger, a leading stem cell scientist at King’s College London, said that the grant applications may have been blocked by scientists on the funding committees who are morally opposed to the creation of cloned hybrid embryos. But when Nature spoke to Minger he said the Independent misinterpreted  … Read more

CIRM board member gets ethics warning letter, but not fine, over conflict of interest

California’s Fair Political Practices Commission (FPCC) decided that Burnham Institute President violated conflict-of-interest rules by writing a letter to the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine appealing a decision that an affiliate of his institute was ineligible for funding.  Read more

Stopping snake-oil stem cell treatments

A study in Cell Stem Cell finds that web sites that offer stem cell treatments over the Internet make lots of bogus claims, and the leading organization of stem cell scientists has issued a patient handbook of questions to ask potential providers, plus guidelines for the clinical translation of stem cells.  Read more

Stem cell therapies, ready for success?

Stem cell researchers have a new worry. What happens if the cell-based therapies actually work? “We could have a cure, but there might be a backlash, because we aren’t ready to the economic impact of that ability.” That’s the question that John Wagner asked the 900 or so attendees at a stem cell meeting in Madison, Wisconsin.  Read more