Fetal tissue research restrictions disrupting studies into major diseases, including AIDS, Down syndrome, diabetes

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Image: Kkolosov/iStock

A recent Trump administration decision to limit funding of research that uses fetal tissue is already disrupting research into major diseases, including AIDS, Down syndrome and diabetes, scientists say.

The controversial federal funding rules, announced seven months ago, are reshaping scientists’ research paths and the grants they seek from the National Institutes of Health. … Senior researchers are cautioning emerging scientists to avoid this type of research. And a university program that produces and sells mice containing human fetal tissue is forgoing the federal funding it has relied on for nearly three decades, imperiling the work of scores of biomedical researchers who depend on these lab animals.

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The disruption is occurring, in part, because the administration has imposed an extra requirement for NIH grant applications that is not yet possible to meet. Under the rewritten rules that took effect early in the fall, a new ethics advisory board must assess all grant requests involving fetal tissue — but the board has not yet been established, and it may not be convened for many months.

Fetal tissue has been pivotal to understanding and developing therapies for HIV, cancers, neurological problems, sickle cell disease, eye disorders and other conditions.

Read full, original post: Trump restrictions on fetal tissue research unsettle key studies and scientists

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