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Researchers may abandon stem cell lines

Leading US research institutions may stop studying several federally-fundable linkurl:embryonic stem cell;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54749/ lines due to potential ethical problems surrounding the creation of the lines. As linkurl:reported;http://chronicle.com/daily/2008/07/3996n.htm by __The Chronicle of Higher Education__ today (July 28), Stanford and Johns Hopkins Universities, and the linkurl:California Institute for Regenerative Medicine;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/disp

By | July 28, 2008

Leading US research institutions may stop studying several federally-fundable linkurl:embryonic stem cell;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54749/ lines due to potential ethical problems surrounding the creation of the lines. As linkurl:reported;http://chronicle.com/daily/2008/07/3996n.htm by __The Chronicle of Higher Education__ today (July 28), Stanford and Johns Hopkins Universities, and the linkurl:California Institute for Regenerative Medicine;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/52856/ (CIRM) are considering halting or have halted research on five of the 21 human stem cell lines linkurl:approved;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/12948/ to receive federal funding. University of Wisconsin bioethicist linkurl:Robert Streiffer;http://philosophy.wisc.edu/streiffer/ called the five lines into question in an linkurl:article;http://philosophy.wisc.edu/streiffer/PapersFolder/Streiffer%20-%202008%20Informed%20Consent%20and%20Federal%20Funding%20of%20SC%20Research.pdf he wrote in the May-June issue of the __Hastings Center Report__. In the article, Streiffer wrote that some embryonic stem cell donors were improperly informed before donating their cells. For example, Streiffer wrote that in at least one case, the consent forms that donors signed "states that the project in which the embryo donors were participating was limited to developing a technique for longer-term cultivation of embryonic cells, and that after the study was completed all the cells would be destroyed." In light of the ethical problems, Strieffer called for the Bush Administration's restrictions on stem cell research funding to be overturned. According to __The Chronicle__ story, citing a report by the Center for American Progress, expert panels at Johns Hopkins and Stanford have already decided to stop research on the five contested cell lines, but officials at Stanford told __The Chronicle__ that the report was "inaccurate" and that the no final decision has yet been made. A spokesman from CIRM told __The Chronicle__ that the institute is deciding whether or not to refer the issue to its ethics board.
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Comments

Avatar of: Ellen Hunt

Ellen Hunt

Posts: 199

July 28, 2008

There are cell lines of all kinds in use in labs all over the world. \n\nIf we can't use them, biology shuts down. What is the difference? A cell is a cell, and many cell lines are not pathological. So we can't knock them back to pluripotency ... yet. Who cares? None of these stem cell lines are capable of living on their own. They are no more "persons" than a buccal swab. \n\nEven if the cells in a cell line are polyploid or otherwise problematic, they were part of a person once. \n\nThis sort of drivel gives "bioethics" a bad name. \n\nReal bioethics is about saving lives! It is not about obstructing research into saving lives for the sake of self-justifying hairsplitting by pompous fools. This man Streifer deserves to be drummed out to live on the street.
Avatar of: anonymous poster

anonymous poster

Posts: 19

July 28, 2008

The previous posting is a little harsh and, I think, misses the point, which is:\n\n"In light of the ethical problems, Strieffer called for the Bush Administration's restrictions on stem cell research funding to be overturned."\n\nIn other words this is a political attempt, based on a technicality, to advance science in the field by getting the US Administration to greatly expand the number of human ES-cell lines that can be used under federal funding. \n\nMany dozens of new lines are now available but research using them cannot currently be supported by US federal funding.\n\n

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