The Chatterbox Stem-Cell Registry

Last week, Chatterbox challenged readers to identify the 60 stem-cell lines that President Bush claimed were in existence, but was unable to identify publicly. To Chatterbox, it sounded like the phony “secret plan” Richard Nixon touted during the 1968 presidential campaign to end the Vietnam War. Chatterbox was piqued that the national press, mostly decamped to the beach for the last two weeks of August, had identified only about half the stem-cell lines. With characteristic audacity, Chatterbox pledged to locate and assess all 60. Then Chatterbox himself decamped to the beach. By the time he returned, the National Institutes of Health had made public the Bush 60, which in fact turned out to be 64. Here they are:

CompanyNumber of stem-cell lines developed and reported to

NIH by the Aug. 9 deadline
BresaGen Inc., Athens, Ga.4
CyThera Inc., San Diego9
Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden5
Monash University, Melbourne, Australia6
National Center for Biological Sciences, Bangalore, India3
Reliance Life Sciences, Mumbai, India7
Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel4
University of California, San Francisco2
Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden19
Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, Madison, Wis.5

Of course, all sorts of questions remain. Which of these stem-cell lines are likely to prove helpful in medical research? Which lines risk giving Parkinson’s patients mouse ears and whiskers? Chatterbox invites scientists and knowledgeable lay people who are familiar with one or more of the Bush 64 to send information about them to Links to reliable online information about each line are especially welcome. Chatterbox will synthesize the information and attempt to assign each of the 64 lines a Michelin Guide-style rating: one star (“très bonne qualité“), two stars (“d’excellente qualité“), or three (“fine et justement renommé“). Or no stars, for the dogs.