Chimera Research and Stem Cell Therapies for Human Neurodegenerative Disorders
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In April 2005, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) published its Guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research. These voluntary guidelines are among the most permissive in the world—in a country that prohibits federal funding of research to derive human embryonic stem (hES) cells (cells that can self-renew or differentiate into most cells in the human body). One of the few research prohibitions in the NAS guidelines concerns the creation of certain kinds of human–nonhuman chimeras. A chimera is an organism with a mixture of cells from two different organisms, from the same or different species. Figure 1 provides a useful overview of different types of chimeras.
Baylis, F. & Fenton, A. (2007). Chimera research and stem cell therapies for human neurodegenerative disorders. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, 16, 195-208. DOI:10.1017/S0963180107070211