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WASHINGTON — The National Institutes of Health wants to fund up to $20 million worth of research into alternatives to using human fetal tissue to study disease, the agency announced Monday.

The announcement is largely preliminary. The formal funding opportunity announcements will be published at some date in the future, the agency said, and scientists cannot yet submit proposals to be funded. The total amount of money available has not been determined, according to the announcement, but the agency is “interested” in investing $20 million over the course of two years.


The notice comes in the wake of news reports that in September the Trump administration ordered NIH scientists, including one team researching a treatment for HIV, to stop buying new human fetal tissue. Scientists on that team were using the fetal tissue to create mice with a human-like immune system so they could study the disease.

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