Most stem cell lines come from white donors

A new report draws a conclusion that should have been drawn years ago--that virtually all human embryonic stem cell lines currently used for research come from white donors.

The report, published in a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine, notes that none of the most widely-used lines had any recent races of African descent. This includes 10 of the 20 embryonic stem cell lines recently approved by the NIH for research.

The lines examined by researcher Noah Rosenberg, an associated professor in the department of human genetics at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, also found that only two of the lines studied were linked to East Asians.

To make sure that stem cell-based therapies of drugs will work on a broad range of people, researchers and the federal government need to work hard to include lines from blacks, Asians and other populations, Rosenberg suggests.

To learn more about Rosenberg's work:
- read this HealthDay News piece

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