Archive by category | Policy

Human embryonic stem cell research stuck on two early lines

Under former US president George W. Bush, fewer than two dozen human embryonic stem cell lines could be studied with federal funding. That number could soon extend into the hundreds, pending ethical review by the US National Institutes of Health. However, research led by Christopher Scott of Stanford University in California shows that of the 20-odd lines available for funding, researchers have so far depended primarily on just 2 of the oldest human embryonic stem cell lines1.  Read more

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

Ontario scientists to get $100 million boost

Stem cell scientists in Ontario expect a boost from their province’s commitment to distribute an extra CAN$100 million for life science funding this year. Researchers in selected areas of life sciences need to state their intent to file by mid June, and submit final applications by August 31, with almost all the funds expected to be allocated by the end of the year.  Read more

NIH issues draft guidelines for funding human embryonic stem cell research

I just got off a teleconference discussing draft guidelines about what kinds of human embryonic stem cell lines the NIH will fund. Research advocates still have some work to do for final guidelines due out just after the 4th of July. Here’s a link to the NIH draft guidelines.  Read more

Mapping stem cell research, commercialization

In a rebuttal to a statement by members of President Bush’s Council of Bioethics, statementdefended the Bush policy on human embryonic stem cell research, William Hoffman, coauthor of The Stem Cell Dilemma, counters that the U.S. has now rejoined the world’s scientific mainstream.  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