News of the WeekBioethics

Germany Dithers Over Stem Cells, While Sweden Gives Green Light

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Science  14 Dec 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5550, pp. 2262
DOI: 10.1126/science.294.5550.2262a

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BERLIN-- In Europe, as in the United States, scientists, politicians, and ethicists are deeply divided over what research, if any, should be permitted on human embryonic stem (ES) cells. Nowhere is this division more stark than in Germany, where two high-level commissions have offered conflicting advice in the past couple of weeks and a decision on whether researchers can import ES cells has been put off for the third time. In Sweden, in contrast, the national research council last week concluded that current laws permit researchers to both derive and work with ES cells.