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Red Tape Holding Up Stem Cell Work?

Stem cell researchers are worried that they'll have to stop work with some of their favorite cell lines, NPR reported yesterday. Geneticist Julie Baker of Stanford University says she faces a "huge setback." Rigorous new paperwork requirements for getting a line listed in the National Institutes of Health stem cell registry—the only lines federally-funded researchers can use—have delayed the listing of several lines derived at the University of Wisconsin. A problem is that some embryos from which the lines were derived come from a fertility clinic in Israel. A spokesman for WiCell, a nonprofit group affiliated with the university says, "Without direct access to the records for these lines ourselves, we are working through the clinic overseas to obtain the additional documentation."