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    Clinical Stem Cell Research.

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    Ron Gorton

    by Ron Gorton

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    Now that Pres. Obama has revoked the Bush administration's restrictions on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, patients everywhere are wondering how they can participate in a stem cell research study at the clinical level. Unfortunately, except in one special exception (see the Tips section below) it's still too early to talk about clinical research using embryonic stem cells. Scientists are still experimenting with animals to make sure treatments are both safe and effective. As to the Obama action, the National Institutes of Health has to write guidelines for conducting ethical research using federal tax dollars. (That will take until the middle of summer.) Once those guidelines are in place, NIH will begin evaluating research proposals and awarding grant funding. So, the promise of embryonic stem cell research is still far from being fulfilled in a clinical setting.