Carolyn Coyne, a scientist at the University of Pittsburgh studies placentas from foetuses which would be discarded ordinarily, in order to save foetuses from brain damaging disorders. Her worry right now is that her niche research is headed to the gallows as reported by the Associated Press. The Trump administration is adamant to crack the whip for foetal tissue research on government funding, as scientists across the nation make it clear how important this research of special cells is in fighting health threats. The administration has cracked down on the university’s research center which was studying foetal tissue to test treatments for HIV, and is terminating other such research at the National Institutes of health. Conye says that she predicted that this move would trickle downwards, fast.
Conye’s research studies the effect of various life threatening viruses which pervade the placenta in early pregnancy such as Zika virus etc. Under orders from Trump himself, the Health and Human Services Department have announced that new barriers to the use of tax-payer money to fund researches will be applied. This does not apply to research which is privately funded. Other than the HIV research project shutdown, up to 200 NIH funded programs are not yet affected. However, proposals for new studies to be instituted and funded by the state, according to HHS, will have to pass an additional layer of review. The prediction by nationally recognized bioethics expert has been that over time, a slow but steady elimination of federally funded programs for research on foetal tissue is in the horizon, even as the research remains quintessential to medical developments.