US to continue stem cell research

An appeals court in US allowed the government to resume funding human embryonic stem cell research while the court reviews whether it violates a ban by Congress on spending taxpayer money for experiments.

Following an outcry from the Obama administration and the scientific community, an appeals court lifted the controversial Aug_23 injunction placed on funding for human embryonic stem cell research.

Lifting the ban allows the US government to temporarily continue funneling tens of millions of dollars to scientists seeking cures for diseases such as Parkinson’s Disease, Spinal cord injuries and other genetic conditions.

The National Institutes of Health said it is resuming its own research and will again evaluate applications from scientists who are seeking taxpayer money to do the work, a process that has been frozen since late last month.

Scientists who already had received NIH grants had been told to continue working. Many scientists believe the more flexible embryonic cells have more promise, but lots of work is under way with both kinds.

NIH says:

“We are pleased with the Court’s interim ruling, which will allow promising stem cell research to continue while we present further arguments to the Court in the weeks to come. With the temporary stay in place, NIH has resumed intramural research and will continue its consideration of grants that were frozen by the preliminary injunction on August_23. The suspension of all grants, contracts, and applications that involve the use of human embryonic stem cells has been temporarily lifted. Human embryonic stem cell research holds the potential for generating profound new insights into disease, cell-based therapeutics, and novel methods of screening for new drugs.”

Source: National Institutes of Health, USA

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