Monday, March 09, 2009

Federal funding for stem cell research

At last!

US President Barack Obama is expected to lift restrictions on federal funding for research on new stem cell lines.
Officials say Mr Obama will authorise the move by executive order on Monday, a major reversal of US policy.
Ex-President George W Bush blocked the use of any government money to fund research on human embryonic stem cell lines created after 9 August 2001.
Scientists say stem cell research will lead to medical breakthroughs, but many religious groups oppose the research.
Correspondents say the policy change is part of President Obama's pledge to make clear that his administration wants scientific research to be free from political interference.
It expected that his announcement about federal money will be accompanied by a promise that what he calls "sound science" will be respected by his administration.
It is also thought that the announcement is timed to allow an adequate period for health officials to draw up research guidelines before a deadline for government stimulus money runs out.
Stem cells are cells with the capacity to turn into any other type of human cell, be it bone, muscle or nerve cell.
One embryo can provide a limitless supply because the cell lines can be grown indefinitely.
But the use of human embryonic stem cells in research is controversial with some campaigners saying it is unethical.


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