Feeds

UK scientists want £100m stem cell foundation

Cash to keep Britain at cutting edge

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

UK scientists have called for £100m to keep Britain at the forefront of stem cell research, and are asking for a new charitable foundation to administer the funds. They say that a lack of cash threatens early advances and that there is a risk of UK research being left behind by ongoing foreign programmes.

The announcement was made on Tuesday at a gathering of UK stem cell scientists in Newcastle. One of the principle architects of the plan, bioscientist Sir Chris Evans, told the BBC: "Britain pioneered this entire field but now we are sliding backwards somewhat, as others accelerate ahead. You see big breakthroughs from China, Korea, Japan and in Germany; and there is a wall of money surfacing in the USA."

The proposed UK Stem Cell Foundation - run by a board of trustees including scientists and entrepreneurs - would be involved in all areas of stem cell research, particularly "translational research", he said. "We need to take potential stem cell medicines, regenerative medicines, to the clinic, into patients and do proper clinical trials and prove the benefits. That's the delivery everybody wants, but to get there it's a few more years and a lot of money and I think that there's a gap - I know that there's a gap - and I think it's quite substantial and I want to do something about it."

Evans and his colleagues hope that heavyweight backing for the foundation - including Sir Richard Branson and president of the Royal Society and former UK chief scientist Lord May - will convince the government of the plan's viability. The backers are keen to support the UK Stem Cell Foundation, so long as their financial input does not threaten existing funding, the BBC reports.

Meanwhile, Professor Ian Wilmut was this week awarded a licence by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority to create stem cells from cloned embryos. The man behind Dolly the sheep will use the cells to investigate Motor Neuron Disease. ®

Related stories

Scientist looks to clone Little Bo Human
US stem cell research in jeopardy
California backs stem cell research

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Brit amateur payload set to complete full circle around PLANET EARTH
Ultralight solar radio tracker in glorious 25,000km almost-space odyssey
Boffins spot weirder quantum capers as neutrons take the high road, spin takes the low
Cheshire cat effect see neutrons and their properties walk different paths
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.