Before therapies using human embryonic stem cells can be approved by the Food and Drug Administration, researchers will have to answer one key question: where do the cells go when they are injected into the patient? During an FDA meeting earlier this linkurl:month;http://www.the-scientist.com/templates/trackable/display/blog.jsp?type=blog&o_url=blog/display/54544&id=54544 on the safety of embryonic stem cell therapies, the agency grappled with the issues of tracking stem cells in vivo. Regardless of whether stem cells need to target a specific location, such as the eye, or circulate the body, researchers need standardized tools to watch where the cells go and how they differentiate. But some experts wonder what the priorities should be in developing stem cell therapies. At the FDA meeting, linkurl:Kenneth Chien,;http://www.hms.harvard.edu/dms/bbs/fac/Chien.html from Harvard Medical School, asked whether new stem cell tracking technologies that are so far away are worth investing time and money in. I called up linkurl:Jeffrey Bulte;http://mri.kennedykrieger.org/sitemap/jbulte.html from Johns Hopkins University, who gave...
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