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Briefing Date:04/25/2005
Topic:Guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
Division on Earth and Life Studies
Board on Life Sciences
and
Institute of Medicine
Board on Health Sciences Policy
Committee on Guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research

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Congressional Briefings
Monday, April 25, 2005
184 Dirksen Senate Office Bldg. -- 11:00 a.m.
1521 Longworth House Office Bldg. -- 12:30 p.m.
2125 Rayburn House Office Bldg. -- 1:00 p.m.
and
HC-8, The Capitol Building -- 2:30 p.m.

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Guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research

by

Richard O. Hynes, Daniel K. Ludwig Professor of Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Cancer Research and Department of Biology; Investigator, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute; and Co-Chair, Committee on Guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research, The National Academies

Jonathan Moreno, Professor of Biomedical Ethics and Director, the Center for Biomedical Ethics, University of Virginia, and Co-Chair, Committee on Guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research, The National Academies

Marcia Imbrescia, Owner, Peartree Design; Health Advocate and Member, Board of Trustees of the Arthritis Foundation; and Member, Committee on Guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research, The National Academies

This report provides guidelines for the responsible practice of human embryonic stem (hES) cell research. Since 1998, the volume of research being conducted using hES cells has expanded primarily using private funds because of restrictions on the use of federal funds for such research. Although privately funded hES cell research is currently subject to many of the same oversight requirements as other biomedical research, given restricted federal involvement and the absence of federal regulations specifically designed for hES cell research, there is a perception that the field is unregulated. More accurately, there is a patchwork of existing regulations that are applicable to hES cell research, many of which were not designed with this research specifically in mind, and there are gaps in how well they cover hES cell research. In addition, hES cell research touches on many ethical, legal, scientific, and policy issues that are of concern to the public.

The guidelines, which are set forth in the final chapter of the report, are intended to enhance the integrity of privately funded hES cell research both in the public’s perception and in actuality by encouraging responsible practices in the conduct of that research. The body of the report provides the background and rationale for the choices involved in formulating the guidelines.

These series of briefings were for members of Congress and congressional staff only. The report was publicly released on April 26, 2005, and can be found, in its entirety, on the Web site of the National Academies Press.

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