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Obama Administration Puts Up New Stem Cell Roadblocks

Audio

Aired 12/3/09

Stem cell researchers in San Diego are cheered by the approval of new cell lines for research. But the Obama administration has actually created some new regulatory headaches.

— Stem cell researchers in San Diego are cheered by the approval of new cell lines for research. But the Obama administration has actually created some new regulatory headaches.

President Barack Obama has allowed federal funds to be used to research new embryonic stem cell lines, ending the prohibition of the Bush administration. But the National Institutes of Health now require people who donate embryos for research to give much more specific informed consent. Evan Snyder, with San Diego's Burnham Institute, said the 21 cell lines approved under the Bush administration don't meet that standard. That means some of Snyder's stem cell research, previously allowed under Bush, has been suspended under Obama.

"And hopefully those old lines will now be grandfathered in," said Snyder. "But temporarily, yes, we are still under restrictions that seem to be even more onerous than under Bush."

Snyder said an National Institutes of Health committee will soon make a ruling on whether the old cell lines will be grandfathered in and back in use.

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