I just heard from somebody who attended a meeting at NIH that of the 6000+ comments that NIH has received concerning the draft guidelines, 99% were from people who opposed embryonic stem cell research.
There are many scientists who believe that these NIH guidelines are unacceptable and unnecessarily shut off research that are not prohibited by law. For example, the guideline says that parthenogenesis is prohibited by law. Parthenogenesis (i.e. the stimulation of an egg so that it believes that it has been fertilized) does not necessarily lead to creation of an embryo.
The language of the draft guidelines, if strictly interpreted, may actually prevent NIH funding of studies of the cell lines that have already been derived. Specifically, NIH appear to be requiring specific informed consent language that may result in NIH not allowing even the so-called Presidential lines to be studied with NIH funds.
Finally, the guidelines does not address specific important issues regarding pluripotent stem cells and the creation of human-nonhuman chimeric animals. This is very important because such prohibitions will prevent very important research based on misunderstandings of what human cells do when they are transplanted into animals.
If people support embryonic stem cell research, it is very important that they write to NIH saying that they support embryonic stem cell research and that the proposed guidelines are unnecessarily restricting research that are not required by law. I will post a detailed analysis of the guidelines soon. The deadline for all comment is May 24.
Last edited by Wise Young; 05-09-2009 at 11:24 AM.