Researchers from King's College London announced today (August 13) that they had successfully generated Britain's first human embryonic stem cell line, which they hope to deposit soon in the UK Stem Cell Bank.

The researchers derived three populations of stem cells from 58 embryos, but two of the lines were lost at an early stage. The third line has been growing for months now, according to their report in the journal, Reproductive Biomedicine Online.

King's was one of two research centers granted the first licenses to develop embryonic stem cell lines in Britain when new laws were introduced last year. The other is at Edinburgh University.

The embryos used by the London team, led by Stephen Minger and Susan Pickering, to derive the cell lines were donated by couples undergoing preimplantation genetic diagnosis.

Peter Braude, of the King's College team, said ethical considerations were the main reason the...

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