The Niche

Stem cell vetting raises concerns, confusion

After years hearing scientists complain that the U.S. federal government funded research on too few human embryonic stem cell lines, Lana Skirboll, who directs the Office of Science Policy at the U.S. National Institutes of Health, has something to tell the stem cell community: “the ball is in their court.” The NIH announced on Monday that it would be accepting applications to determine whether a line is eligible for funding. The process is not without risks: some scientists are quietly concerned that their informed consent procedures could come under criticism, or that they could lose access to non-federal sources of funding if the lines they wish to work with aren’t cleared by the NIH. 


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