Final Report of the National Academies’ Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research Advisory Committee and 2010 Amendments to the National Academies’ Guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research

In 2005, the National Academies released the book, Guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research, which offered a common set of ethical standards for a field that, due to the absence of comprehensive federal funding, was lacking national standards for research. In order to keep the Guidelines up to date, given the rapid pace of scientific and policy developments in the field of stem cell research, the Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research Advisory Committee was established in 2006 with support from The Ellison Medical Foundation, The Greenwall Foundation, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

As it did in 2007 and 2008, the Committee identified issues that warranted revision, and this book addresses those issues in a third and final set of amendments. Specifically, this book sets out an updated version of the National Academies’ Guidelines, one that takes into account the new, expanded role of the NIH in overseeing hES cell research. It also identifies those avenues of continuing National Academies’ involvement deemed most valuable by the research community and other significant stakeholders.

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2008 Amendments to the National Academies’ Guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research

In 2005, the National Academies released the report Guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research, which offered a common set of ethical standards for a field that, due to the absence of comprehensive federal funding, was lacking national standards for research.

In order to keep the Guidelines up to date, given the rapid pace of scientific developments in the field of stem cell research, the Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research Advisory Committee was established in 2006 with support from The Ellison Medical Foundation, The Greenwall Foundation, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

As it did in 2007, the Committee identified issues that warranted revision, and this book addresses those issues in a second set of amendments. Most importantly, this book addresses new scientific developments in reprogramming of somatic cells to pluripotency by adding a new section and revising other relevant sections of the Guidelines.

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Guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Since 1998, the volume of research being conducted using human embryonic stem (hES) cells has expanded primarily using private funds because of restrictions on the use of federal funds for such research. Given limited federal involvement, privately funded hES cell research has thus far been carried out under a patchwork of existing regulations, many of which were not designed with this research specifically in mind. In addition, hES cell research touches on many ethical, legal, scientific, and policy issues that are of concern to the public. This report provides guidelines for the conduct of hES cell research to address both ethical and scientific concerns. The guidelines are intended to enhance the integrity of privately funded hES cell research by encouraging responsible practices in the conduct of that research.

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