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Two stem cell lines lead studies

In a decade of research on human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), scientists have largely depended on just two cell lines, greatly limiting the diversity of research in the budding field, according to a linkurl:survey published;http://bert.lib.indiana.edu:2146/nbt/journal/v27/n8/full/nbt0809-696.html in the August issue of Nature Biotechnology. Human embryonic stem cellsImage: Wikimedia commons/PLoS Nissim Benvenisty"It's been sort of common lore that those [two lines] have been the most widely u

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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In a decade of research on human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), scientists have largely depended on just two cell lines, greatly limiting the diversity of research in the budding field, according to a linkurl:survey published;http://bert.lib.indiana.edu:2146/nbt/journal/v27/n8/full/nbt0809-696.html in the August issue of Nature Biotechnology.
Human embryonic stem cells
Image: Wikimedia commons/PLoS
Nissim Benvenisty
"It's been sort of common lore that those [two lines] have been the most widely used," said bioethicist linkurl:Rob Streiffer;http://philosophy.wisc.edu/streiffer/ of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who was not involved in the report, "[but] I was surprised that it was as lopsided as they found it to be." The embryonic stem cell policy implemented by former US president George Bush identified 64 lines eligible for federal funding; those lines were derived before August 9, 2001, from embryos left over from infertility treatments and donated with informed consent. Of those 64 lines, however, only 21 were actually available for distribution....




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