An interesting news release from the NIH landed in my inbox Tuesday (September 18). The headline said the agency "Announces Plan to Implement President's linkurl:Stem Cell; Executive Order." I know, I know -- the linkurl:executive order; came six years ago. But apparently, now the agency is taking new steps -- for instance, asking for grant applications to study non-embryonic sources of pluripotent cells, and creating two supplemental programs to augment already in-progress stem cell research. The plan also calls for "aggressively pursuing an assessment of the potential of alternative sources of pluripotent stem cell lines, " such as reprogramming somatic cells. "While these methods have been proposed, questions remain as to their feasibility. To address this issue, the NIH will undertake a comprehensive research portfolio review to determine what research NIH is currently supporting in this area and convene a state-of-the-science workshop to identify the key questions," the release notes....

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