Harvard announces stem cell research with human embryos

Private funding supports studies
Describing an ambitious, privately funded study using human embryonic stem cells, Harvard University researchers announced an ethically charged, long-term project that could produce treatments for a variety of diseases.

The Harvard Stem Cell Institute, joined by researchers from Columbia University, said June 6 that it would begin recruiting women in Boston to donate eggs to generate lines of embryonic stem cells, the master cells that give rise to all other tissues in the human body.

Time magazine said it would be the first reported program launched by an academic institution to use fresh eggs in somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) to create stem cells. That technique is one that South Korean scientists had claimed they used to create stem cell lines from diseased patients—work that early this year they admitted was fraudulent.

 

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