The European Commission yesterday (July 9) published its proposed guidelines for funding human embryonic stem cell research. Funding in this field by the EU's 6th Research Framework Programme (FP6) has been on hold while the commission attempted to balance the ethical concerns of some member states against the eagerness of others to proceed.

The new guidelines will allow funding of the research but impose strict controls. The reaction from key members of the research community has been mixed.

"This is the worst compromise they could have come up with," Angelo Vescovi of the Stem Cell Research Institute in Milan told The Scientist. "It's a political compromise that has very little to do with science, and it's going to make everybody unhappy on both sides [of the debate]."

Arne Sunde, chairman of the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology shares concern about the restrictions within the guidelines but told...

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