News of the WeekBiomedical Policy

Draft Stem Cell Guidelines Please Many, Disappoint Some

Science  24 Apr 2009:
Vol. 324, Issue 5926, pp. 446
DOI: 10.1126/science.324_446

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They are not perfect, but they're a big improvement over what scientists have been living with since 2001. That's how many scientists feel about the draft guidelines on human stem cell research released last week by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. The proposed rules, to be finalized this summer, will expand the number of human embryonic stem cell lines available to researchers by eliminating the cutoff date for cell lines that qualify for federal funding. The cell lines must be derived from surplus embryos donated by couples receiving fertility treatment. Stem cells lines derived through research cloning, or somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), which many researchers are eager to try, will not be eligible.