In response to a petition from researchers, the UK government has backed down on linkurl:restrictions;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54198/ to stem cell research proposed in a new bill. The revision of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, currently being debated in Parliament, stipulates that tissue donors must give explicit consent for use of their cells in embryonic stem cell research. But objections from scientists, including a linkurl:letter;http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/letters/article3221046.ece signed by about 50 researchers, including four Nobel laureates, and published in The Times on January 21, said that applying that rule to many tissue banks and cell lines in existence would be impossible, because the donors were anonymous. The rule, they argued, would cut them off from conducting stem cell work on key tissue samples, such as older cell lines or disease-specific tissue banks. Last week, in a letter to members of Parliament who had participated in the debate, the government said it would reconsider the...
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