According to an article in the April 9, 1999, Philadelphia Inquirer,
government advisors recently proposed rules on federal financing of
stem cell research, rules which would do the following:
--Forbid government-funded researchers from creating embryos for
--Allow government-funded researchers to do research the two presently-
existing stem cell lines, which were produced by privately funded
--Forbid government-funded researchers from doing research on any new
stem cell lines which might be created in the future by privately-
funded researchers IF those cells were obtained from embryos created by
the privately-funded researchers for the purpose of research.
--Allow government-funded researchers to use new stem cell lines which
might be created in the future by privately funded researchers ONLY IF
those cells were obtained from embryos that had been created for
infertility treatment, were "in excess of clinical need," and were
going to be destroyed anyway. (I believe that this is how the two
currently-existing stem cells lines were created.)
--Forbid government-funded researchers from trying to manipulate
zygotic cells into becoming stem cells.
--Forbid government-funded researchers from trying to manipulate stem
cells into becoming zygotic cells.
--I believe that government-funded researchers are also forbidden from
obtaining embryos from infertility clinics for stem cell research, but
I am not sure about this.
Does anyone know if these are the standards which the NIH is planning
to adopt? Did the NIH make some changes since April 9?
So far as I know, no privately-funded researcher in the United States
creates embryos for research purposes. (I would like to government to
explicitly forbid this procedure.) Those few privately-funded
researchers who are trying to make new stem cell lines obtain their
cells from infertility clinics embryos which would have been discarded
That, to the best of my knowledge, is the present state of affairs.