News of the WeekSTEM CELLS

NIH Approves First New Lines; Many More on the Way

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Science  11 Dec 2009:
Vol. 326, Issue 5959, pp. 1467
DOI: 10.1126/science.326.5959.1467-a

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At long last, federally funded stem cell researchers will soon have the access to human embryonic stem cell lines that they have been hankering for over the past 8 years. Last week, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) named the first 13 lines approved for federal funding under President Barack Obama's revised policy—11 derived at Harvard University and two at Rockefeller University. NIH Director Francis Collins was expected shortly to approve 27 more; a further 68 are awaiting review. At a 2 December press conference, Collins said NIH expects submissions soon for at least 100 more. Thirty-one research grants, totaling $21 million, have been on hold pending the official availability of the cell lines.