NIH issued the final rules for federally sponsored embryonic stem cell research and they become effective today. Older lines may still be eligible for use. "Many of the lines already in existence may have met very rigorous standards of informed consent but may have been implemented in ways not consistent with the present guidelines," Dr. Kington says. "It's unreasonable to retroactively apply procedures intended for future use." The New York Times says that "the crucial test is whether the embryos used to create the stem cell lines were created for reproductive purposes, and whether donors freely consented for their use in research procedures." NIH will create a registry of which lines meet its eligibility requirements.
The Chronicle of Higher Education says that the new guidelines "won immediate endorsement from researchers and university groups, including the Association of American Medical Colleges and the Association of American Universities."