Iran invests $2.5 bln in stem cell research
Iran's Cord Blood Bank says 2.5 billion dollars will be invested in the country's stem cell research over the next five years.
Iranian scientists test treatments on mice for everything from heart disease to multiple sclerosis in state-run laboratories and private hospitals in Tehran. The fund will be used for the development of such facilities in other Iranian cities.
Iranian scientists developed human embryonic stem cell lines in 2003, with the approval of Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, the leader of Iran's Islamic revolution.
Despite many western countries which impose restrictions on stem cell research, Iran, a premier in the realm of stem cell research, has some of the most liberal laws providing grounds for such studies.
Muslim clerics acknowledge that life begins three months after conception, granting scientists access to human embryonic stem cells left over from fertilization trials.
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.
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