Monday, March 9, 2009

Obama Will Overturn Bush Administration Policy on Stem Cells

Former President George W. Bush imposed limits on the amount of federal spending that could go toward embryonic stem cell research. Today President Obama will sign an executive order or stem cells and a memo on science in an East Room Ceremony. Bush limited taxpayer money for embryonic stem cell research to a small number of stem cell lines that were created before Aug. 9, 2001. Many of those faced drawbacks.

Hundreds more of such lines — groups of cells that can continue to propagate in lab dishes — have been created since then. Scientists say those newer lines are healthier and better suited to creating treatments for diseases, but they were largely off-limits to researchers who took federal dollars. Prior to enactment of this policy, scientists had to rely on donations and private funding. Now they'll be able to apply for government grants to support their research. This is the same way other forms of research is funded.
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