Saturday, 8 November 2008

Iran to Invest Heavily in Stem Cell Research

Iran to Invest $2.5B in Stem Cell Research Saturday, 08 November 2008 Iran Cord Blood Bank.Iranian news organisations report that Iran's Cord Blood Bank is to invest $2.5B in the country's stem cell research over the next five years. Iranian scientists developed human embryonic stem cell lines already in 2003. This was done with the highest Islamist approval, from the Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei himself. Some Muslim clerics acknowledge that human life begins only three months after conception, thus granting scientists access to blastocysts, early embryos and human embryonic stem cells left over from fertilization trials. Iran has therefore some of the most liberal laws providing grounds for such studies. According to Mohammad Reza Mohammad Hassani, the general secretary of the 10th National Congress on Cardiovascular Updates, Iran's achievements in this field have led to a successful stem cell heart transplant of an 11-year-old boy in 2003. The Royan Institute is the main place behind Iran's fast progress in human stem cell technology. Initially being an infertility clinic in Tehran established in 1991, they produced Iran’s first human embryonic stem cell line in 2003. So far, they have established six different human embryonic stem cell lines and numerous mouse ESC lines as well. They have also used adult stem cells to treat corneal injuries and heart muscles after myocardial infarct in humans, and a diverse set of animal models of diseases. In 2006 they succeeded to clone a sheep; and in 2004 induce hESCs to produce insulin. Iran’s Health ministry have also established a stem cell network in 2005, the Iranian Stem Cell Network, in an ambitious attempt to promote stem cell research between scientists, clinicians and business people from the 17 participating institutes and research centres. See also: Iranian Scientists Produce A Human ESC Line CellNEWS - Tuesday, 09 September 2003 ......... ZenMaster

For more on stem cells and cloning, go to CellNEWS at and

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