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Embryonic stem cell research can be funded by US gov, court rules

The US government can fund embryonic stem cell research, according to an appeals court.

Stem cells ovaries eggsEnlarge
An assistant professor at the University of Connecticut works with stem cells. Researchers have found that ovarian stem cells in adult women can be used to produce new eggs, in a study published in Nature Medicine on February 26, 2012. (Spencer Platt/AFP/Getty Images)

The US government can continue funding embryonic stem cell research, after a federal appeals court upheld a lower court's decision to throw out a lawsuit challenging federal funding for the research.

According to the Associated Press, opponents of stem cell research had claimed that the National Institute of Health was violating the 1996 Dickey-Wicker law, which prevents US funding for any work that could harm an embryo.

“Dickey-Wicker permits federal funding of research projects that utilize already-derived ESCs — which are not themselves embryos — because no ‘human embryo or embryos are destroyed’ in such projects,” Chief Judge David B. Sentelle said in the ruling, AP reported.

Dr. Francis Collins, the director of NIH, said in a statement that they would "continue to move forward, conducting and funding research in this very promising area of science. The ruling affirms our commitment to the patients afflicted by diseases that may one day be treatable using the results of this research.”

The lawsuit was filed in 2009 by Dr. James Sherley of Boston Biomedical Research Institute and Theresa Deisher of AVM Biotechnology in Seattle, NBC News reported. The two use adult stem cells for research, but oppose the use of embryonic stem cells, stem cells found in day old embryos that act source of all of the cells and tissues in the body.

According to the NIH, stem cells have "the remarkable potential to develop into many different cell types in the body during early life and growth" and can provide "new potentials for treating diseases such as diabetes, and heart disease."  

In Canada, a drug using stem cells, has been approved to treat bone marrow diseases.

Michael Carlin More than 1 year ago
I would love to see a registry exist of opponents of stem cell research. Anyone on this list should never be allowed to benefit from the findings that are made from stem cell research. I don't doubt that there people will be the first ones to look to this research when they or their loved ones require treatment that has been derived from it. This has been partially responsible for the change in attitude that many senators and representatives have experienced. Picture a grandfather (who is also a senator) who finds out that his grandchild has a disease that required the beefits derived from thi research. The senator never cared about other children, but suddenly he cares. Apparently the words he heard from God that guided his actions are no longer considered by him to be true.
Tara Beth Dondas More than 1 year ago
I look at my son who is a product of invitro fertilization and ask myself how many fabulous people we are missing and using their tissue in these types of processes. What gives us the right to do this? Embryos become people if we protect, nurture and respect them. He is such a joy to everyone who knows him
__nlnn_nnln__ More than 1 year ago
Science prevails!