UW: Fetal cell line research key to biomedicine advancesH - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

UW: Fetal cell line research key to biomedicine advancesH

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Fetal cell lines have played a key role in biomedical breakthroughs over the last 60 years, but scientists at the University of Wisconsin say a GOP bill that would ban the use of future lines could chill their work.

Scientists have used fetal cells to help develop a polio vaccine and to screen potentially lethal drugs. University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers are currently using fetal cells in tests that could one day lead to an Ebola vaccine and treatments for irregular heartbeats and epilepsy.

Wisconsin Republicans have introduced legislation that would ban research on tissue from fetuses aborted after Jan. 1, 2015. Scientists could still use existing fetal cell lines but couldn't develop new ones, a restriction UW researchers say would handcuff them.

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