Suspension of US stem cell research ban

14 September 2010

In the latest twist in the great saga of federally funded human embryonic stem (HES) cell research in the US (see previous news), the Court of Appeals for Washington, D.C has temporarily blocked the previous injunction banning such research (see New York Times) pending provision of further information by later this month.
In response, the NIH has rescinded its earlier suspension of relevant research projects (see previous news) pending the outcome of further legal actions (see announcement).

Meanwhile, moves by Congress are underway to permanently legalise federal funding of such research via the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, which would render the outcome of the current legal case irrelevant are underway (see AP news). Previously passed by Congress and twice vetoed by the then-President George Bush, this Act was reintroduced in 2009, but effectively side-stepped by President Barack Obama’s Executive Order to expand funding. Now this fast-tracking approach has been called into legal question, the longer process is being accelerated. 

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