The United Kingdom opened the world’s first national stem-cell bank May 19, hoping to lead the international scientific community in embryonic stem-cell research, reported The Associated Press.
The bank, established at the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control, will store and grow cells, and distribute them to researchers around the world.
The first two human embryonic stem-cell lines to be deposited in the bank were developed separately at King’s College in London and the Center for Life in Newcastle.
Regulations on cloning and stem-cell research vary from country to country.
Last year, the Parliament of the European Union voted to restrict stem-cell research and altogether ban the creation of human embryos for research.