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Most Stem Cells Used in Research Come From Whites
Date:12/16/2009

o ensure that new stem cell-derived therapies or drugs will work in a wide range of people, there needs to be an effort to include embryonic stem cell lines from blacks, Asians and other populations.

"New efforts to derive and disseminate additional stem cell lines need to focus on underrepresented populations," Rosenberg said.

Dr. Camillo Ricordi, scientific director of the Diabetes Research Institute and Cell Transplant Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, called the lack of diversity in stem cell lines "something that should be corrected as new cell lines are being produced.

Ricordi noted that they have started the Florida stem cell bank to add diversity, because right now 85 percent of the cell lines are from whites.

Diversity in stem cell lines is essential, Ricordi believes. "If you are developing therapies for everyone, you cannot leave out anyone of African descent or others," he said.

More information

For more information on stem cells, visit the U.S. National Institutes of Health.



SOURCES: Noah Rosenberg, Ph.D., associate professor, department of human genetics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Camillo Ricordi, M.D., scientific director, Diabetes Research Institute and Cell Transplant Center, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; Dec. 16, 2009, New England Journal of Medicine, online


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