The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research Advisory Committee has updated its guidelines for human embryonic stem cell research to reflect the creation of research guidelines by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The Committee recommends that NIH guidelines on stem cell research should supersede NAS guidelines where there is complete overlap. In other matters that are not addressed by NIH’s guidelines, such as non-federally funded research, the guidelines developed by NAS should continue to be used. NAS offers guidance in several areas not covered by NIH: derivation of new stem cell lines, stem cell lines not derived from excess in vitro fertilization embryos, and broader research uses of stem cells.

The National Academies’ guidelines were revised to address recent changes in federal policy. An Executive Order issued by President Barack Obama in March 2009 lifted certain restrictions on the use of federal funds for human embryonic stem cell research and directed NIH to formulate its own policy on the matter. NIH issued guidelines in July 2009 that established a mechanism for determining eligibility of human embryonic stem cell lines for federal research funding.

To read “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,” visit


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