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Biotech

Submission + - Real Embryonic Stem Cells with No Harm to Embryo?

mea37 writes: A company in Massachusetts says they can create stem cell lines from an embryo, without harming the embryo. This is different from an earlier-reported process of making "stem cell-like" cells from skin, which so far can only produce contaminated cells with limited biomedical potential.

Although the new process is similar in its handling of embryos to tests run by fertility clinics, the chief of the NIH Stem Cell Task Force claims it is unproven whether the embryo is really unharmed. She is quoted in a Washington Post article (picked up from STLToday for access without registration) saying that the only way to prove "no harm to embryos" (and thus qualify for federal funding) would be to implant many of the embryos in women and see what happens. She further says that this would be an unethical experiment. So apparently she doesn't intend to fund any embryonic stem cell work, ever.

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