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Tuesday

 

NIH Denies Request For Federal Funding to Study New Stem Cell Lines

(Posted By: Josi Creek)


A private lab’s request for federal funds to study 47 new stem cell colonies has been denied by National Institutes of Health  director Francis Collins. The rejection comes after an advisory committee recommended against the approval citing the request violated strict ethical guidelines. Many scientists had hoped for an approval that would give them the ability to study various mutations of diseases. Diseases that were proposed to be studied included Huntington’s disease, cystic fibrosis and multiple sclerosis.  Scientists believe the studying of these stem cell lines could have led to treatments for many of these incurable and often times deadly conditions.




The stem cells were developed from embryos donated to the private clinic Reproductive Genetics Institute in Chicago. Couples donated the embryos they did not want to use because they were found to have genetic defects. The couples signed waivers that included vague wording about what the embryos may have been used for. The waiver also negated a person’s right to sue the clinic for any reason. The wording in the waiver is not in line with new guidelines signed into law by President Obama soon after he took office. Many scientists and researchers feel the updated guidelines are still very restrictive and are limiting the amount of research that could be done.
Private labs will still be allowed to study the lines with private funding. Collins did give the green light on eight other new stem cell lines. This brings the total number of stem cell lines approved for study to 75.

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