NIH Approves Federal Funding For 13 More Stem Cell Lines
The Washington Post: Thirteen more lines of human embryonic stem cells are officially eligible for federal funding, since being approved by the National Institutes of Health. The Obama administration announced shortly after the President took office that restrictions would be lifted on the use of federal funds for embryonic stem cell research. But, "Obama's attempt to loosen the funding restrictions was complicated by a thicket of ethical issues. Last summer, the NIH issued detailed guidelines aimed at addressing the concerns. They included stringent requirements that any lines being studied with the help of federal funding meet strict new ethical criteria, including ensuring that couples who donated embryos were fully informed of other options."
It was unclear how many of the already existing stem cell lines fell in line with these new guidelines, worrying many scientists who were already at work with the lines. The announcement eases some of those worries. Lisa Hughes, president of the Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research called the act "an important step forward. This is great news, too, for those in the patient community who continue to wait for better treatments and cures" (Stein, 4/28).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.