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NIH seeks alternatives to fetal tissue

The National Institutes of Health will release a funding opportunity soon for research into a potential replacement for fetal tissue.

Flashback: HHS announced in September that it was pulling back on federally funded research that relied on fetal tissue — a move anti-abortion advocates had pushed for.

  • Some scientists worried about the change, because fetal tissue is used in a lot of research.

So the NIH is looking for an alternative, and will spend up to $20 million over the next 2 years.

  • Specifically, it said it's looking to "develop and/or further refine human tissue models that closely mimic and can be used to faithfully model human embryonic development or other aspects of human biology ... that do not rely on the use of human fetal tissue obtained from elective abortions."

Go deeper: NIH launches massive program to diversify medical research