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US plans stem cell bank

But researchers and advocates call plan 'too little, too late'

Anne Harding(anne_harding@yahoo.com)

A National Institutes of Health (NIH) plan announced last week (July 14) to grow and distribute Bush administration–approved stem cell lines remains in the very early stages, and researchers and advocates call the proposal a political move that will do nothing to get stem cell therapies to the clinic.

No site for the proposed stem cell bank has been chosen, no steering committee has been named, and while a small amount of funds has been set aside for planning for the remainder of this fiscal year, spending for fiscal year 2005 has not been determined, an NIH spokesperson told The Scientist. "It might involve some construction and will certainly involve negotiation with the holders of the stem cells," the spokesperson said.

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) described the stem cell bank plans in two sentences in a three-page fact sheet on embryonic stem cells published July...

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