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Researchers will be able to use federal research funds to study stem cells derived from human embryos as long as they follow strict criteria in obtaining the cells, according to draft guidelines released last month by the NIH.
Scientists hope to use pluripotent stem cells, which have the potential to develop into nearly any type of tissue, in biomedical research and for treating a variety of diseases. Human stem cell research has been controversial because such cells are derived from early embryos or fetal tissue.
Stephenson J. Stem Cell Guidelines. JAMA. 2000;283(3):325. doi:10.1001/jama.283.3.325-JHA90011-4-1