Within months, scientists will be able to compete for about $100 million in federal grants for research involving human embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Following President George W. Bush's decision last month to provide limited federal funding for human ES cell research, based on existing stem cell lines only, officials at the National Institutes of Health are rushing to finalize grant procedures, which will include a public registry database of 60-70 government-certified lines and their suppliers.
"The more than 60 stem-cell lines are diverse, they're robust, and they're viable for research," announced Tommy G. Thompson, secretary of Health and Human Services, parent department of the NIH. "And we have great confidence that these existing lines will provide for very effective and productive research." Thompson said funding mechanisms will be in place by early next year and predicts a "ballpark" of $100 million in grants will be available. "We expect...
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