Researchers report in yesterday's Nature Medicine that all of the federally approved lines of embryonic stem cells are contaminated with a non-human molecule. One stem cell researcher said the discovery could slow embryonic stem cell research because the study suggests the stem cell lines may not prove to be useful as therapeutic agents and, in fact, could cause an immune reaction against cells put into humans. Dr. Ajit Varki argues the new revelation should not invalidate stem cell research findings to date, but he said researchers should increase their investigations into uncontaminated cell lines.

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