United Kingdom grants first human embryo research licences

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: (Published 09 March 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:562
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. London

    The UK Human Fertilisation and Embryo Authority has granted the first licences for research teams to proceed with programmes designed to develop human embryonic stem cell lines.

    The authority, the regulatory body that oversees human fertilisation and related research in the United Kingdom, last week approved applications from two research groups to develop stem cell lines from human embryos. Previously, researchers have only been licensed to study embryos up to 14 days old with a view to improving infertility treatment. They were not allowed to produce human embryonic stem cell lines that were maintained long term.

    A group at Edinburgh University has been licensed to develop embryonic stem cell lines to be used in studies designed to develop new therapeutic approaches to Parkinson's disease, and a team at King's College, London has been approved to use stem cells to investigate neural disorders, infertility, and miscarriage.

    The …

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