Stem cell scientists should respond fast,  May 26, is the last chance, after that the window to provide feedback will close, and the drafted rules will  possibly  help disappear funding for almost all existing cell lines.

Time is really short for the scientists to respond to the call for comments on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) proposed guidelines for the use of human embryonic stem (ES) cell lines and their eligibility for federal funds.

Patrick Taylor, deputy general counsel at Children’s Hospital Boston, believes that all the ongoing research is threatened, due to the retroactive rules. He also explains some of the legal implications of the NIH’s new funding rules, and whether should they be adopted as written.

His reaction had been published in a Forum article on middle of the month of May by Cell Press in the journal Cell Stem Cell.

According to Taylor, it is very important that scientists should be aware of the situation and the problem should be solved as early as possible.

Research with almost all existing cell lines will not be fundable, leaving almost no federal funds for research using cells created ethically since 2001.

This will mean a loss of the research benefit of the last eight years, even though that research was independently reviewed and determined to be ethical under federal standards.

Though continual access to the ES cells for the medical research is highly important,  but the current proposed guidelines may not even allow for continued research on the 21 ES cell lines approved by President Bush in 2001, says Ronald McKay, director of the NIH Stem Cell Unit.

Researchers from all scientific disciplines and interested members of the general public can comment on the proposed guidelines at until 11 p.m. EST on May 26.

Source: EurekAlert