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Stem cell lines on hold

Three human embryonic stem cell lines once eligible for federal funding are "on hold" until further notice because they were derived from embryos that were too early. Human embryonic stem cellsImage: Wikimedia commons, Nissim Benvenisty"These lines were derived from early embryos -- those consisting of 6, 8, or 16 cells -- and thus formally did not fit the official definition of ES cells by the NIH," linkurl:George Daley,;http://daley.med.harvard.edu/ who derived these particular lines and subm

By | May 4, 2010

Three human embryonic stem cell lines once eligible for federal funding are "on hold" until further notice because they were derived from embryos that were too early.
Human embryonic stem cells
Image: Wikimedia commons,
Nissim Benvenisty
"These lines were derived from early embryos -- those consisting of 6, 8, or 16 cells -- and thus formally did not fit the official definition of ES cells by the NIH," linkurl:George Daley,;http://daley.med.harvard.edu/ who derived these particular lines and submitted them for approval to the NIH last year, told The Scientist in an email. The current definition is limited to "cells that are derived from the inner cell mass of blastocyst-stage human embryos" -- a stage that the three lines on hold "failed to reach," said an NIH spokesperson. Last February, the NIH published a linkurl:notice in the Federal Register;http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-3527.pdf that proposed a change in the formal definition of human embryonic stem cell to include such early embryos. The issue of whether cell lines derived from early embryos could be approved for federal funding was initially raised when stem cell company Advanced Cell Technology submitted five stem cell lines similarly derived from early embryos to the NIH for inclusion on the linkurl:stem cell registry,;http://grants.nih.gov/stem_cells/registry/current.htm linkurl:according to ScienceInsider.;http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2010/02/nih-expands-definition-of-human-.html The NIH declined to say how it was realized that the three already approved lines also fell outside of the official definition set forth by the NIH. The proposed change has received public comment that is currently being considered by the NIH, during which time the lines -- three of the first to be approved for federal funding under the new NIH guidelines -- "should not be used in NIH-funded research," according to linkurl:the notice;http://grants.nih.gov/stem_cells/registry/current.htm#hold on the stem cell registry. When asked about the impact of such a hold on current research using these lines, Daley said that the lines "are generic and people are using others." NIH declined to comment on how the lines were approved in the first place when they did not meet the formal definition in the new guidelines.
**__Related stories:__***linkurl:News in a nutshell;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/57155/
[22nd February 2010]*linkurl:Popular hESC line approved;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/57382/
[27th April 2010]*linkurl:27 more hESC lines approved;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/56219/
[15th December 2009]*linkurl:NIH OKs 13 stem cell lines;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/56196/
[2nd December 2009]

Comments

Avatar of: anonymous poster

anonymous poster

Posts: 16

May 4, 2010

We already knew close to three months ago that these lines were on hold because they were taken from early embryos. For example, check out this news story from 22 February in Nature:\nhttp://www.nature.com/news/2010/100222/full/news.2010.85.html\n\nWhy is The Scientist talking about this in early May?

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