UK: optimism over new regulator

British researchers hope the new Human Tissue Authority won't hinder vital research

Stephen Pincock
Apr 26, 2006
The Human Tissue Authority (HTA), a new regulatory agency in Britain, announced this week that the rules governing live kidney donation would be relaxed. But for the research community, the new watchdog's most significant impact won't be felt for another four months, when it begins regulating research aspects of human tissue use. The new kidney transplant rules allow more flexibility in who can donate to whom. They were announced at the same time as the HTA issued its first ever licenses, to banks storing tissue for transplants.But for the research community, the key date is September 1, when HTA will begin regulating other areas, including the storage of material from a living person for research. Scientists will be able to apply for a license for these activities on the HTA's Web site from July this year, a spokesman told The Scientist. In the meantime, the agency has published a...

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