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Stem cell law to be relaxed in Norway

Scientists hope the move, by one of Europe's strictest regulators of stem cell research, causes waves across the continent

Stephen Pincock
Norwegian scientists are this week celebrating a government plan to allow for the first time research on human embryonic stem cells, hoping the move will have positive repercussions in other European countries, particularly Germany.On Friday (January 26), the government sent a proposed new law for parliamentary debate that would allow research on spare IVF embryos under strict legal and ethical controls. The government has a majority of 87 seats in the 169-seat parliament, and most observers expect the bill to pass within months."We're all very excited about this bill," said Jan E. Brinchmann, a stem cell researcher from Rikshospitalet University Hospital in Oslo. "We've been working on adult stem cells in Norway for some years, but without access to embryonic stem cells we've lacked a key tool." The current Norwegian stem cell rules are among the most stringent in Europe. They bar the use of human fertilized eggs, embryonic...

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