Obama lifts ban on federal funding for stem cell research

March 9th, 2009 - 11:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, March 9 (Xinhua) US President Barack Obama Monday issued an order overturning eight-year-old policy banning federal funding for research on human embryonic stem cells.
In 2001, former president George W. Bush limited federal funding of stem cell research only to stem cell lines that already existed. It was a gesture to his conservative Christian supporters who regard embryonic stem cell research as destroying potential life, because the cells must be extracted from human embryos.

Stem cell researchers say that policy held back scientific advances and development of cures.

Embryonic stem cells are the most basic human cells which can develop into any type of cell in the body.

Scientists believe that stem cell research could eventually produce cures for a variety of diseases, including Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, heart disease and spinal cord injuries.

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