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Harkin: NIH Decision A Critical Step Forward For Stem Cell Research

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Senator Tom Harkin today congratulated the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on approving the use of thirteen human embryonic stem cell lines under the new ethical guidelines adopted this past July. Senator Harkin chairs the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that funds health research initiatives and the Senate health committee. He has been a long-time leader in the fight to lift restrictions on stem cell research.

"The availability of these lines brings hope to millions of sick and disabled people around the world," Senator Harkin said. "I congratulate the NIH for operating within the strict ethical guidelines for the use of human stem cells that were adopted in July, and I look forward to the discoveries this research will yield."

Numerous other lines are expected to be approved and added to the NIH's Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry in the coming days and weeks.

The NIH Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research were published on July 7, 2009, and implement Executive Order 13505: Removing Barriers to Responsible Scientific Research Involving Human Stem Cells. The guidelines establish policy and procedures under which the NIH will fund such research, and help ensure that NIH-funded research in this area is ethically responsible, scientifically worthy, and conducted in accordance with applicable law.

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