Can I Hear It For The Embryonic Stem Cells?


Great news from the National Institutes of Health and JDRF: yesterday, NIH announced that 13 new human embryonic stem cell lines have been approved for use in NIH-funded research — making them the first stem cell lines to be approved since the new NIH guidelines were adopted in July (correct me if I’m wrong, but that also would seem that these are the first new approved cell lines since Bush set his restrictions in 2001).

To quote from the NIH press release:

“I am happy to say that we now have human embryonic stem cell lines eligible for use by our research community under our new stem cell policy,” Dr. Collins said. “In accordance with the guidelines, these stem cell lines were derived from embryos that were donated under ethically sound informed consent processes. More lines are under review now, and we anticipate continuing to expand this list of responsibly derived lines eligible for NIH funding.”

Children’s Hospital Boston developed 11 of the approved lines and Rockefeller University in New York City developed two of the approved lines. An additional 96 lines have been submitted to NIH for either internal administrative review or consideration by the external Working Group for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Eligibility Review and the NIH Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD), including more than 20 that will be considered by the ACD on December 4, 2009. The working group provides findings to the ACD, which makes recommendations to the NIH Director, who decides whether the hESCs may be used in NIH-funded research and lists those deemed eligible on the NIH Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry.

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) also issued its own press release.

That news alone is putting me in a good mood. But what’s more,  I also got some great feedback to yesterday’s post about what to call your diabetes, and have to give a special shout-out to a reader named Amanda, who proposed the term “pancredicament” as an alternative to Type 1. She provides the following example of its use:   “I have a pancredicament and must leave this meeting to eat something despite the clear presence of bagels.”

I like this. I also think I have narrowed in on what, exactly, I find so upsetting about the “made from the milk of human kindness” tagline on my cottage cheese container. Previously, I’d been wrapped up in the idea of using human milk in a breakfast product. But I’ve since realized the part that truly turns my stomach: it’s the fact that it’s cottage cheese. Yogurt made from the milk of human kindness — that’s not quite as bad. But curdled chunks of human milk? Ew.

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13 years ago

Catherine, thanks for the shout-out and I’m sorry to hear about your serious pancredicament!  I have had some scary nighttime lows recently which have turned into frightening morning highs.  I always think “Holy s@#$, who put me in charge of this?”  How does anyone ever limit their intake to one lousy box of juice after a sweaty, confused, 2:00AM 38?  I think that’s like telling a drowning person that when they break the surface, they’re only allowed one breath.


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