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A milestone for the University of Michigan's stem cell program

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(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)
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A researcher at the A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute at U of M describes the stem cell on the computer screen

The stem cell research lab at the University of Michigan has reached a significant milestone.

A stem cell line developed from a 5 day old human embryo donated to U of M’s stem cell program has been certified by the National Institutes of Health. That’s significant, because there are only 147 embryonic stem cell lines approved by the NIH. Many of them are old lines with certain drawbacks for researchers.

Gary Smith is the co-director of the stem cell program.    He says U of M is just one of a handful of universities in the United States making new human embryonic stem cell lines for research.    

“Any investigator across the United States...or really across the world can utilize those embryonic stem cells," says Smith, "And in fact (the researchers) can use those embryonic stem cells to submit research….or for funds from the National Institutes of Health to do research on those lines.”   

Smith says U of M plans to submit another 10 stem cell lines for certification.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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