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Steve Chiotakis: Embryonic stem cells can grow into every type of body tissue. And that makes them very valuable for scientific research. But using them is a contentious issue because it requires destroying human embryos. Former President Bush restricted federal funding during his two terms,
but President Obama rescinded that.
The National Institutes of Health has already approved 13 stem-cell lines for research, and today an advisory panel looks at approving 20 more. Marketplace’s John Dimsdale reports the moves are likely to trigger a flood of new investment in medical research.
John Dimsdale: NIH approval gives stem-cell scientists immediate access to $200 million worth of federal research money. Children’s Hospital in Boston created some of the stem cell lines the NIH approved earlier this week.
Director George Daley says Bush-administration restrictions hindered research.
GEORGE DALEY: The NIH funds the lion’s share of basic biomedical science in this country. And for the last eight years we haven’t been able to exploit it for applications in human stem cells. Now we can.
And drug companies and medical device makers are now more likely to invest in their own research, says B.D. Colen at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.
B.D. COLEN: I think they are now beginning to see the potential. Because this is more normalized, they will be more eager to get in.
And the results will be new drugs for treatment of diseases from diabetes to Parkinson’s.
In Washington I’m John Dimsdale for Marketplace.