Researchers at California College to Create New Embryonic Stem Cells

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 19, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Researchers at California College to Create New Embryonic Stem Cells

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 19, 2006

Irvine, CA ( — A California university and a local fertility clinic are teaming up to create new embryonic stem cell lines in a controversial move that would increase the number of human lives destroyed from the research to obtain cells which have yet to have much success.

The University of California at Irvine and will rely on a local Orange County fertility clinic to provide it with human embryos scientists can destroy for their stem cells. UCI will be one of the few places in the country working to create new lines.

UCI will have to rely on private donations to create the embryonic stem cells because federal funds are prohibited under limits President Bush put in place in August 2001. He decided to focus taxpayer spending on adult stem cells, which are more ethical and have already yielded dozens of cures and treatments.

UCI neurobiologist Hans Keirstead will head the team, which will create the embryonic stem cells by destroying both health days-old unborn children as well as those with physical abnormalities.

"We want to expand the genetic diversity of the cells we study," he told the Orange County Register newspaper. "Creating new lines is challenging. But our lab has six years of experience in stem-cell research and we believe we can do this."

He told the newspaper it will likely take $100,000 annually over several years to create the new embryonic stem cells. He said the university has obtained some of the funds necessary and will work to gather more.