US Appeals Court Overturns Ban On Stem-Cell Funding

by jeeg 29. April 2011 20:48

A federal appeals court on Friday overturned a trial judge's preliminary injunction that blocked government funding of research involving human embryonic stem cells, a significant legal victory for the Obama administration.

The U.S Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, in a 2-1 ruling, said the National Institutes of Health reasonably concluded that government funding for embryonic stem-cell research is not prohibited by a 1996 law that bars the use of federal money for research in which an embryo is destroyed.

One of President Barack Obama's first acts on science policy after taking office was to take down barriers to stem-cell research set up by President George W. Bush in August 2001. While Bush had limited research on embryonic stem cells to a small number of then-existing cell lines, Obama in March 2009 opened up federal funding more broadly.

Stem cells are the building blocks of the body's tissues and organs. Those derived from embryos can develop into any type of tissue and are considered especially promising for research, though their use is controversial. Opponents, however, say destroying an embryo to get the cells amounts to taking a human life.

Wall St Journal


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