Monday, July 10, 2006

NIH spends $930K for post-9Aug01 human embryonic stem cell (hES) line

The journal Nature reported that the National Institutes of Health [NIH] paid $930,000 to Seoul's MizMedi Hospital to obtain Miz-hES1, an "allowed" human embryonic stem cell line, but actually received, and distributed, Miz-hES5, a "disallowed" (i.e., post 9-August-2001) human embryonic stem cell line.

Although MizMedi tricked the NIH, it is also true that the NIH does not check the genetic identity of the stem cell lines it receives, so there was no oversight to protect against this error.

The title of the article in Nature is "Koreans Admit Disguising Stem Cell Lines," and the first sentence states:

Federally funded US researchers were supplied with a prohibited stem cell line, disguised as an approved line, by researchers at Seoul's MizMedi hospital. See 441 Nature 790.

The words prohibited/approved refer to the possibility of use of federal funding. Federal funding for research on stem cells created BEFORE August 9, 2001 is permissible. Nature reported that the NIH states that no one used the Miz-hES5 stem cell line in federally funded work.

The Nature article alsom mentions relevant genetic testing approaches of
Mahendra Rao.


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