NIH Lifts Stem Cell Research Ban
After imposing a ban on funding for certain human-animal medical research last September, the National Institutes of Health recently announced funding will be reinstated this fall. In question, funding for research that involves injecting human stem cells into animal embryos.
The goal of this research is to grow human tissue in animals to learn more about diseases and develop additional treatments. The very thought of the potential—for example, growing a healthy human organ in an animal that can then be transplanted into a person—is almost too bizarre to consider.
After a 30-day comment period, during which researchers as well as the public can weigh in, the NIH is expected to implant the plan—most likely with some modifications. Hopefully, questions about the disturbing possibilities and ethical issues surrounding mixing traits of two species will be answered before then.
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