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Panel issues guidelines for stem cell research

Panel issues guidelines for stem cell research
Standards applicable to privately funded study
Posted: April 26, 2005

Concerned about inadequate regulation of privately funded human embryonic stem cell research, a panel at the National Academies issued guidelines Tuesday for American scientists, universities and private institutions.


The oversight committees that are recommended for each institution doing stem cell research would:

Help monitor the source of stem cells.

Allow institutions to know what kind of research is being conducted.

Provide a review body for areas of research that are potentially problematic.

They also would make sure that the following guidelines are adhered to:

Human embryos used for research should not be grown in culture longer than 14 days, the point when the body axis and central nervous system begin to form.

Stem cell donors - couples who have created excess embryos at in vitro fertilization clinics, or egg and sperm donors - have provided consent, acknowledging that their embryos may be used to produce stem cells.

Donors have not been paid.

Donors were informed they have the right to withdraw their consent at any point before a stem cell line is derived.

Donors understand that embryos will be destroyed in the process of deriving stem cells and the resulting cell lines may be kept for many years and may be used in animals.

Donors are informed that research involving their stem cells may have commercial potential, but they will not share in any financial benefit.

Researchers should not ask fertility doctors to create more embryos than necessary for reproductive treatments.

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