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Thread: Vote on Obama lifting Stem Cell restrictions

  1. #21
    May 26th is the last chance to give your feedback regarding the Obama administration proposed changes in the guidelines for the use of stem cells in medical research. -At the bottom there is a link for you to leave comments for NIH. Responses are due May 26th.

    http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.jsp?articleId=281474977681047&grpId=36 59174697241980&nav=Groupspace

    This is an important policy that needs your input since the proposed policy may surprise you.

    Many of us in the field believe that most, if not all of the existing NIH registered embryonic stem cell lines would be excluded from future NIH funding if the policy is adopted as is currently written. It is important that all previously registered NIH lines be grandfathered into the policy so they can be used in the future. If this does not happen, the policy would be a setback to the community because it could limit the usefulness of many pioneering previous studies and findings established using these highly studied NIH lines. More and more we are finding that each stem cell line may have unique properties. In science we build on the breakthroughs of the past and if the existing lines are not grandfathered, this will hamper a scientist’s ability to replicate and build upon what was previously accomplished with a NIH cell line.

    For example the embryonic stem cell line that is going into clinical trials for spinal cord treatment is one of these existing NIH lines. Therefore scientists interested in learning more about how the specific line used in this spinal cord clinical trial could be used in other cell therapies will likely not able to do so unless this line is grandfathered into the guidelines.

    Bottom line, the new policy should be more inclusive, we do not need more limitations since these NIH lines met the ethical standards applied at the time they were included in the NIH registry.

  2. #22
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    Heads up everyone....

    Thanks for the reminder.

    I understand comments will be accepted until 11PM tonight, the 26th.

    Courtesy of Don Reed:

    How to submit your comments: This is soooooo simple!

    "* Click http://nihoerextra. .nih.gov/ stem_cells/ add.htm
    <http://nihoerextra. nih.gov/stem_ cells/add. htm> to be connected to the
    NIH comment form;
    * Provide your name, and select `self' for Affiliation; and
    * Copy and paste the text below into the comment box, provide the
    security check ID on the form, and click `submit comments.'

    Any statement of support has impact. One sentence can make a difference.

    Something like: "I support embryonic stem cell research, and am glad
    some of the restrictions are being loosened."

    Anyone who clicks on the comment box, and writes in a sentence—that
    message will be tallied as one citizen in support."

    "Of course, you may say more if you want. If you are a long-term research supporter, your
    letter will be put in the expert witness category.

    (If you want to get more involved in shaping the guidelines, that would
    be helpful. The guidelines are politically very timid, and must be
    strengthened. Problems:

    a "grandfather clause" is needed to insure that every stem cell
    line already approved under the previous stringent guidelines will be
    eligible; that alternate sources of stem cell lines such as SCNT and
    parthenogenesis will not be excluded from funding, and more. (see CAMR
    comments below.)

    OR…..

    Suggested comment text (copy and paste into Comment section of NIH
    comment form and edit as appropriate for you):

    Embryonic stem cell research holds great promise for millions of
    Americans suffering from many diseases and disorders. I am not a
    scientist, but I have been following progress in this field with great
    interest. Significant strides have been made over the past decade, and
    the final guidelines issued by NIH must build on this progress so that
    cures and new therapies can get to patients as quickly as possible. The
    final guidelines should not create new bureaucratic hurdles that will
    slow the pace of progress.

    I am pleased that these draft guidelines -- in Section II B -- would
    appear to permit federal funding of stem cell lines previously not
    eligible for federal funding and for new lines created in the future
    from surplus embryos at fertility clinics. However, as drafted, Section
    II B does not ensure that any current stem cell line will meet the
    criteria outlined and thus be eligible for federal funding. It will be
    important for the final guidelines to allow federal funds for research
    using all stem cell lines created by following ethical practices at the
    time they were derived. This will ensure that the final guidelines
    build on progress that has already been made.

    I also believe that the final guidelines should permit federal funding
    for stem cell lines derived from sources other than excess IVF embryos,
    such as somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). Sections II B and IV of
    the draft guidelines do not permit such federal funding and I recommend
    that the final guidelines provide federal funding using stem cell lines
    derived in other ways. If not, it is essential that the NIH continue to
    monitor developments in this exciting research area and to update these
    guidelines as the research progresses.

    Thank you!

    Sincerely,"

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