In DepthU.S. Policy

NIH lifts restrictions on fetal tissue research

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Science  23 Apr 2021:
Vol. 372, Issue 6540, pp. 329
DOI: 10.1126/science.372.6540.329

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Summary

Researchers who rely on fetal tissue from elective abortions to study human development and disease may now be able to resume work recently stalled by restrictive federal policies. President Joe Biden's administration last week lifted a ban on such studies by researchers within the National Institutes of Health and eliminated a review board that had torpedoed funding applications from external researchers. The previous policy, announced in June 2019 during then-President Donald Trump's administration, created new hurdles for funding applicants, including review by a new ethics board. That panel was dominated by scientists and ethicists who oppose abortion, and in August 2020, it rejected all but one of 14 applications that scientific reviewers had already deemed worthy of funding.

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