The stem cell banking crisis

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has allowed a contract for the dissemination of embryonic stem cell lines approved for US government funding to lapse, shuttering a key stem cell bank, and doubling the price researchers pay for samples of some human embryonic stem cell (hESC) lines. Human embryonic stem cellsImage: Wikimedia commons, Nissim BenvenistyResearchers hoped that stem cell research would be moving forward by leaps and bounds with the number of hESC lines approved for federal fu

Jef Akst
Jef Akst

Jef Akst is managing editor of The Scientist, where she started as an intern in 2009 after receiving a master’s degree from Indiana University in April 2009 studying the mating behavior of seahorses.

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Apr 6, 2010
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has allowed a contract for the dissemination of embryonic stem cell lines approved for US government funding to lapse, shuttering a key stem cell bank, and doubling the price researchers pay for samples of some human embryonic stem cell (hESC) lines.
Human embryonic stem cells
Image: Wikimedia commons,
Nissim Benvenisty
Researchers hoped that stem cell research would be moving forward by leaps and bounds with the number of hESC lines approved for federal funding more than doubling since the limitations of the Bush administration were lifted in 2009. But a major stumbling block remains -- getting those newly approved lines to the researchers who want to use them. In 2005, the linkurl:National Stem Cell Bank;http://www.wicell.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=category§ionid=7&id=303&Itemid=252 (NSCB) was established at the linkurl:WiCell Institute;http://www.wicell.org/ in Wisconsin to distribute the 21 Bush administration-sanctioned lines to labs around the country. But last month, the NIH let the NSCB...
The Scientist



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