Monday, January 24, 2005

All Current Embryonic Stem Cell Lines Contaminated

Remember back when Bush made his Solomonic decree regarding embryonic stem cell research? He said that there were 60 established embryonic stem cell lines and that was enough. Well, it turned out that there were really somewhere around 19 lines. Furthermore, lots of scientists said that those might be contaminated. Well..

Oops.

Currently available lines of human embryonic stem cells have been contaminated with a non-human molecule that compromises their potential therapeutic use in human subjects, according to research by investigators at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine and the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California.


Now, mind you, there are THOUSANDS of frozen blastocysts (early stage embryos) in fertility clinics all over the country that will never be used. Right now, when a couple has a successful implantation of an embryo or embyos, the remaining ones are frozen for a while, then flushed. Even if the couple wants to donate them for research, institutions won't take them because then they would lose their federal funding.

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