Society Letters

NIH Human Fetal Tissue Research Sign-On

July 28, 2020

To: NIH Human Fetal Tissue Research Ethics Advisory Board-FY2020

"While some have argued that advances in recent years have reduced the need for fetal tissue in certain areas of research, fetal tissue remains the gold standard for evaluating the accuracy of models of human fetal development. Fetal tissue also remains an essential resource for studying complex interactions between cells. Fetal cell lines are not a substitute for fetal tissue, because they are limited to a small number of cell types and are inadequate for studying complex interactions between cells. Similarly, organoids and stem cell model systems are simplistic models that only mimic certain aspects of human development. Finally, tissue from spontaneous abortions is not a reliable substitute for tissue from induced abortions, because they often result from genetic defects, developmental abnormalities, or other conditions that undermine the availability and usefulness of the tissue."

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