The "Allowed" Stem Cell Lines

The Washington Post has a good overview of the problems facing scientists who are trying to work within current federal restrictions on embryonic stem cell research. The allowed lines are largely useless for a number of different reasons. "At least five of those colonies 'will never be useful for the clinic' because they are so difficult to grow ... each colony has its own quirky propensity to turn into one kind of body cell or another, suggesting many more than the 22 colonies available will be needed if the field is to reach its full potential to treat a wide variety of failing organs." In conjunction with threatened legislation that has scared away private funding, this situation has caused years of delay in progress towards cures for age-related conditions.



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