NIH Director Francis Collins is facing a tough decision on whether to make the stem cell lines created by the Chicago-based Regenerative Genetics Institute eligible for federal funding. The issue stems from an NIH panel decision on Thursday that such cell lines, which are marked with cystic fibrosis and other diseases, should not secure federal funding because RGI's informed consent contains an "exculpatory" sentence that seems to be a violation of the federal "Common Rule" on research. Oleg Verlinsky of RGI says, "Without federal support, no one will use them for research."

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