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.
It is widely understood that stem cell treatments have the potential to revolutionize medicine. Because of this potential, in 2004 California voters approved Proposition 71 to set up a 10-year, $3 billion program to fund research on stem cells. Under the direction of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, this program will pay to build facilities for stem cell research and will fund doctors and scientists to carry out research with the ultimate goal of helping to develop therapies based on stem cells.
For this research to move forward, however, will require a steady supply of stem cells, particularly human embryonic stem cells. Those stem cells are collected from developing human embryos created from eggs-or oocytes-harvested from the ovaries of female donors. Thus much of the promise of stem cells depends on women choosing to donate oocytes to the research effort.
The oocyte donation process is not without risk, however. Donors are given doses of hormones to trigger the production of more eggs than would normally be produced, and this hormone treatment can have various side effects. Once the eggs have matured in the ovary, they must be retrieved via a surgical procedure that is typically performed under anesthesia, and both the surgery and the anesthesia carry their own risks. Furthermore, given the very personal nature of egg donation, the experience may carry psychological risks for some women as well.
With this in mind, in 2006 the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine contracted with the National Academies to organize a workshop that would bring together experts from various areas to speak about the potential risks of oocyte donation and to summarize what is known and what needs to be known about this topic. The Committee on Assessing the Medical Risks of Human Oocyte Donation for Stem Cell Research was formed to plan the workshop, which was held in San Francisco on September 28, 2006. This report is a summary and synthesis of that workshop.
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The 2016 Spinoff volume features 52 technologies. Each year, Spinoff features dozens of commercial products derived from NASA technology that are improving everything from medical care and software tools to agricultural production and vehicle efficiency. The companies featured in this year’s publication span a broad range of industries and geographic locations, showing the diverse benefits our Nation enjoys from its investment in aeronautics and space missions.
Private industry manufacturers, scientists, inventors, operational improvement officers, American citizens, and students may be most interested in these NASA developments that impact human life. Since this text is highly illustrated throughout, middle school through high school students could use this resource for classroom essays and undergraduate and graduate students could use this scientific resource for further research and development based on these featured technologies. Middle school, high school, academic, including community college, and public libraries will want to have this resource in their science and technology collections for patron use and research.
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