Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Qualifying Date Rule Hinders German Stem Cell Research

10.04.2008
A few days before the German Federal Parliament reaches a decision on the Stem Cell Act, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) has reinforced its stance on amending current legislation.

“The current qualifying date rule, in particular, strongly impedes German stem cell research,” explained DFG Vice President Professor Jörg Hinrich Hacker, while participating in a live chat session on the DFG website. “The best thing for basic research would be if this qualifying date rule, a deadline which restricts the period in which embryonic stem cell lines are allowed to be imported, were to be abolished altogether, as the DFG recommended in a statement on stem cell research it released 18 months ago,” he emphasised. Hacker recently also became President of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in Berlin.

From the point of view of molecular biologists, even moving the deadline would be an improvement compared to the current situation. Hacker also called for an end to the “criminalisation of German researchers.” The current legislation leaves the legal situation of German researchers involved in cooperative projects with stem cell researchers abroad unclear. “This deters young researchers, in particular, from becoming involved in stem cell research.” The DFG is also of the opinion, said Hacker, that stem cell lines should also be used for diagnostic, therapeutic and preventative purposes.

Other topics touched upon during the one-hour live chat session, during which Hacker responded to 27 questions, were the prospects for research on adult stem cells. This, Hacker emphasised, is not viewed by the DFG as standing in contrast to research on embryonic stem cells, but as a logical extension. The recent scientific findings on “induced pluripotent stem cells” were also addressed, a topic which Hacker described as a major breakthrough for molecular biology. He also pointed out, however, that research on human embryonic stem cell lines is indispensable in order to be able to estimate and compare the potential for adult or reprogrammed cells. “Embryonic stem cell lines are more or less the gold standard for studies of this kind.”

... more about:
»Embryonic »Line »embryonic stem »purpose

Hacker also took a stand on the issue of ovum donation, which is permitted in some countries. This practice is rejected by the DFG and has nothing to do with the production of embryonic stem cell lines. The debate in Germany is essentially about importing cell lines that have been produced abroad and have already been used for research purposes. Culturing new stem cell lines in Germany is already prohibited by the Embryo Protection Law. The DFG has repeatedly spoken out in favour of keeping the Embryo Protection Law in its current form. In answer to another question, Hacker pointed out that any stem cell lines imported from other countries are also subject to strict assessment. They are required to have originated from embryos that were produced for use in reproductive medicine, but for any one of a number of reasons can no longer be used for that purpose. “Here again, no money is allowed to change hands and the couple from whom the cell line originates need to have given their express permission,” Hacker added.

On the question of potential therapeutic uses, another topic addressed during the DFG live chat, Hacker said that “as a general rule of thumb, it takes about ten to fifteen years for a new form of therapy to be developed in biomedicine. If we assume that the first human embryonic stem cell lines were produced ten years ago, then we are now looking at new therapies becoming available in the medium to long term.” He also pointed out, however, that the findings being made in research involving embryonic stem cell lines were also contributing to basic research as well as research aimed at developing new forms of therapy. “Without basic research there is no way we can develop new forms of therapy,” he emphasised.

Jutta Hoehn | alfa
Further information:
http://www.dfg.de/en/news/special_reports/stem_cell_research/

Further reports about: Embryonic Line embryonic stem purpose

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Molecular evolution: How the building blocks of life may form in space
26.04.2018 | American Institute of Physics

nachricht Multifunctional bacterial microswimmer able to deliver cargo and destroy itself
26.04.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Intelligente Systeme

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Why we need erasable MRI scans

New technology could allow an MRI contrast agent to 'blink off,' helping doctors diagnose disease

Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, is a widely used medical tool for taking pictures of the insides of our body. One way to make MRI scans easier to read is...

Im Focus: BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.

Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

World's smallest optical implantable biodevice

26.04.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Molecular evolution: How the building blocks of life may form in space

26.04.2018 | Life Sciences

First Li-Fi-product with technology from Fraunhofer HHI launched in Japan

26.04.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>