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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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NIH Expands Definition of Human Embryonic Stem Cell
19 February 2010 4:32 pm
The National Institutes of Health is slightly expanding its definition for what constitutes a human embryonic stem cell. Currently, for purposes of including cells in its stem cell registry, NIH guidelines define the cells as "derived from the inner cell mass of blastocyst stage human embryo." As proposed tomorrow in the Federal Register, the definition will cover "early stage embryos up to and including" the blastocyst stage.
The change has come primarily in response to an application by Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) of Worcester, Massachusetts. "We came to understand recently that there was interest in deriving cells from earlier-stage embryos," says NIH's Lana Skirboll. ACT wants to list on the registry five cell lines derived from the earlier, morula stage. Skirboll says that, in addition, three lines submitted by Harvard Medical School's George Daley were derived from embryos that hadn't reached blastocyst stage. Approval for them has been put on hold pending acceptance of the revised definition.
So far the registry has approved 40 lines. The change is a small one, Skirboll says; There is no change in ethical guidelines for deriving cells.