Research on Embryonic Stem Cells to Get OK, With Caveat

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 17, 2009 2:29 PM CDT
A single cell is removed from a human embryo to be used in generating embryonic stem cells for scientific research.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The Obama administration will issue new guidelines significantly expanding the scope of stem cell research in July, though some caveats leave scientists dubious, the New York Times reports. The new rules will likely allow federal funds to flow to researchers using surplus embryos created in fertility clinics, a practice the Bush administration outlawed. But more controversial—and potentially more effective—methods are still a no-no.

The National Institutes of Health, $10 billion richer with stimulus money, has provisionally agreed to fund 20 projects under the new guidelines. But stem cell researchers still cannot make their own embryos, which many say is the only path to the creation of compatible replacement organs for the ill. The NIH notes that that procedure has not been tested, and that sufficiently diverse lines could provide the same result.