The US government is spurring on embryo research that might provide crucial treatment clues to ailments still evading cures
All is not over for haernophiliacs (patients suffering from a rare disease of the blood) and those suffering from night blindness can still hope to see better in the dark. Research on human embryos, which have important bearings on these diseases, has received a shot in the arm. The us National Institutes of Health (NIH) is expected to provide a new thrust to it.
The panel recommended that test-tube embryos should be created. Surplus embryos from in-vitro fertilisation treatments (sperm and ovum extracted from human bodies and fertilised externally) were used until recently. But now, adequate evidence will have to be provided to prove the 11 outstanding scientific and therapeutic value" of the work. The panel specifically forbids paying women for donating ova.
"It's been difficult to mount any consistent research effort in this area because of the scarcity of funding," says Roger Pedersen of the University of California at San Francisco. But now, the NIH has received 70 grant applications from researchers.
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