In the last several years, stem cell banks and registries have begun springing up across the country and internationally. But are all these facilities helping research, or just duplicating efforts? The latest addition to the list of such facilities is the stem cell registry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, launched earlier this month. That school also has a human embryonic stem cell (HESC) core facility to store and distribute the cell lines. There are plenty of others: the National Institutes of Health runs a stem cell registry, and WiCell Research Institute, part of the University of Wisconsin, operates the National Stem Cell Bank; the Coriell Institute in New Jersey also has a stem cell bank, as does Harvard Stem Cell Institute and Rutgers University, for example. Several commercial companies also distribute stem cell lines. And then there are international efforts, such as the International Stem Cell bank and...

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