- Argentina beats Dutch in shootout to reach World Cup final
- Tanard Jackson suspended indefinitely by NFL — again
- FAA investigating fireworks drone flights
- Pentagon: We’ll give Obama a drone strike with al-Baghdadi’s name on it
- Marine in Mexican custody to get day in court after 101 days
- Senate OKs San Antonio mayor as housing secretary
- NFL star likely fooled by Marine impostor who accepted first-class plane ticket
- Sen. Ted Cruz tweets Obama directions from fundraisers to border towns
- Israel hits key Hamas targets in Gaza offensive
- Ten-year sentence for New Orleans’ Nagin on graft charges
Guidelines ease limits on stem cells
Question of the Day
New stem cell research guidelines released Friday by the National Institutes of Health would ease restrictions on federally funded human embryonic stem cell research, allowing for cells culled from fertility clinic embryos that otherwise would be discarded.
The draft guidelines do not allow for the use of stem cells derived from embryos created just for science - and perhaps even those created using cloning techniques - that could make them genetically customized for a specific patient.
The announcement comes more than a month after President Obama signed an order to roll back George W. Bush-era restrictions on taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research. The executive order directed the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to issue new stem cell guidelines within 120 days.
“We believe strongly that the draft guidelines would set forth a range of opportunities that would greatly expand opportunities for human embryonic stem cell research that would be eligible for funding from NIH,” said the agency’s acting director, Raynard Kington, during a conference call with reporters. “We are grateful for the president’s executive order. We believe that it was the right decision to move in that direction.”
The new guidelines generally were applauded by medical researchers, though they were derided by some conservative groups.
“I think this is actually fine,” said Dr. Harold Varmus, president of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City and a former NIH director during the Bill Clinton administration. “Obviously not everything is covered, but the essential things are there for making a lot more progress in stem cell research.”
Dr. Varmus added that the recommendations present a “huge improvement” over the Bush-era restrictions.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for working on a vast number of cell lines,” he said. “There may be a few that wish that these guidelines went further, but frankly this covers virtually everything that’s out there to be used.”
The National Right to Life Committee, one of the nation’s biggest pro-life groups, condemned the new set of guidelines, saying it “slides further down the slippery slope” of further exploitation of human embryos.
“Some may characterize the guidelines issued today as narrowly crafted, since NIH will not initially fund research involving human embryos who were created specifically to be used in research,” said the group’s legislative director, Douglas Johnson. “This seeming restraint is part of an incremental strategy intended to desensitize the public to the concept of killing human embryos for research purposes.”
Mr. Kington said there isn’t consensus within the scientific community at this time to significantly loosen the limits further.
He added that the NIH “considered the range of ethical issues” during the drafting process.
The guidelines, if approved, would require specific conditions to be met before fertility clinics could donate stem cells for research, including:
• All options pertaining to use of embryos no longer needed for reproductive purposes would be explained to potential donors.
• No inducements would be offered for the donation.
About the Author
Sean Lengell covers Congress and national politics and can be reached at email@example.com.
- GOP tests Democrats on college loan issue
- Lawmakers outside intelligence loop get miffed about briefing structure in Congress
- John Boehner: Time is right to bring latest farm bill to House floor
- Supreme Court nears rulings on key voting rights cases
- N.J. Gov. Christie picks state A.G. to fill U.S. Senate seat
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Ted Cruz
Banning speech with a constitutional amendment is playing with fire
- GOP: Lerner warned IRS employees to hide information from Congress
- ISTOOK: Flying illegals home would be 99.5 percent cheaper than Obamas plan
- White House plans for bowling alley upgrades abruptly canceled
- Obama requests $3.7 billion to fight surge of illegals
- Power grab: EPA wants to garnish wages of polluters
- Islamic militants aim to take Baghdad airport
- Colorado man offers Obama a toke of marijuana a Rocky Mountain 'high'
- Court orders Chicago to pay NRA's legal fees
- Illegal immigrants showing up at border with 'Yes we can' Obama shoes: report
- Malaysian MP not sorry for tweeting 'long live Hitler' after Germany win
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq
World Cup's sexiest WAGs
U.S.-Ghana World Cup opener