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July 30, 2009

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4 detained over stem cell therapy

HUNGARIAN police have detained four people on suspicion of carrying out illegal, untested stem cell treatments using embryos or aborted fetuses at a Hungarian private clinic, police said in a statement.

The statement, posted on the official police Website late on Tuesday, said the suspects - two Hungarians, one US and one Ukrainian citizen - were detained on July 27 just as they were preparing to treat a new patient.

Police said they launched a procedure on "suspicion of a banned use of the human body."

"There is well-founded suspicion that a US citizen called Julliy B has carried out stem cell treatments for money within the framework of a Hungarian stem cell research laboratory and a Hungarian-owned private clinic since 2007," police said.

The Ukrainian suspect prepared the stem cell doses and patients generally paid US$25,000 or 5 million Hungarian forints for a treatment.

Stem cells are the body's master cells, the source of all cells and tissue, including brain, blood, heart, bones and muscles.

Embryonic stem cells come from days-old embryos and can produce any type of cell in the body.


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