After the acceptance of embryonic stem cell for research by the governing body of University College Cork, UCC, two more Irish colleges are expected to carry out trials with the same promising embryonic stem cell. This incident will increase pressure on government to legislate on stem cell research.

To allow the researchers in NUI Galway (NUIG) for embryonic stem cell research, the college officials are planning to seek permission from the university governing body. While the management at Trinity College Dublin said they are considering following the example set by UCC which last week announced it will allow embryonic stem cells to be used by scientists.

Frank Barry, scientific director of Remedi, a regenerative medicine centre in NUIG, says, we welcome UCC’s decision and we think it is a positive step and the right thing to do. This is because it opens up a new research opportunities and forces discussion about an area which hasn’t been addressed before.

Remedi currently is working with adult stem cells and expects to develop a treatment for osteoarthritis by 2009. Moreover it expects to apply to NUIG by the end of 2009 for permission to investigate embryonic stem cells. “I would expect researchers in all Irish colleges to go through the same process as UCC and seek approval from the governing authorities,” he said.