The linkurl:National Institutes of Health (NIH);http://www.nih.gov/ has linkurl:established a much-awaited panel;http://www.nih.gov/news/health/sep2009/od-21.htm charged with deciding whether human embryonic stem cell (hESC) lines derived in the past eight years should be approved for use in NIH-funded research.
In March of this year, US President Barack Obama issued an executive order to overturn the embryonic stem cell policy implemented by former President George W. Bush, which outlawed federal funding for hESC lines derived after August 9, 2001. The new order allows for federal support of additional cell lines, provided they meet linkurl:strict regulations;http://stemcells.nih.gov/policy/2009guidelines.htm regarding the embryo procurement process. Researchers have estimated that more than 600 hESC lines were developed under the Bush law, but because they could not be used in federally funded work, they have made limited contributions to the literature. The new nine-member working group, led by bioethicist Jeffrey Botkin at the...
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