Popular stem cell lines submitted for approval
Four human embryonic stem cell lines that are popular among scientists have finally been submitted to the National Institutes of Health for approval under President Obama's new stem cell policy.
The WiCell Research Institute of Madison, Wisc., late Tuesday asked the NIH to approves the lines, including one known as H9, which is the most widely used line.
The move is significant because some scientists had complained that Obama's new stem cell policy, which was designed to ease restrictions on the field and speed research, was actually having the opposite effect. That's because although dozens of new lines had been approved under the policy, some of the lines that scientists have been using the most--especially WiCell's--had not been authorized.
Federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research have been restricted during President George W. Bush's administration. Bush sided with critics who did not want federal funding to encourage the destruction of more embryos to create new lines.
Obama lifted those restrictions, but the NIH instituted tough new ethical requirements on any new lines that could receive federal funding. Officials at WiCell had said it was taking some time to assemble the documentation needed to make it through the NIH's new approval process.
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