Federal Court Temporarily Lifts Ban on Stem Cell Research

On Thursday, a federal appeals court held that federal funding for embryonic stem cell research could continue.

The ruling comes nearly two weeks after Federal Judge Royce C. Lamberth blocked President Obama's 2009 executive order expanding stem cell research, citing a 1998 statute banning the use of federal funding for the destruction of embryos. Following that August injunction, scientists scrambled to asses whether they could keep research projects going without the expected government funds. This week's ruling by the United States Court of Appeals would save "research mice from being euthanized, cells in petri dishes from starving and scores of scientists from a suspension of paychecks." The New York Times' Gardiner Harris reports:


Among the projects whose financing was threatened by Judge Lamberth's order was one overseen by Dr. Ira J. Fox, a professor of surgery at the University of Pittsburgh, who has used embryonic stem cells to successfully transplant new liver cells into animals.

Another threatened project was one by Dr. Xuejun Parsons of the University of California, Riverside, who hopes to use embryonic stem cells to create nerve cells that could replace those damaged by Parkinson's disease.

The temporary suspension of the ban will allow the National Institute of Health to provide $78 million to 44 scientists awaiting previously approved funds while the agency evaluates new applications from scientists seeking federal funding for stem cell research. The agency is likely to receive a glut of applications during this temporary window as research groups across the country look to capitalize on the sudden availability of funds.

Read the full story at The New York Times.

Presented by

Jared Keller is a former associate editor for The Atlantic and The Atlantic Wire and has also written for Lapham's Quarterly's Deja Vu blog, National Journal's The Hotline, Boston's Weekly Dig, and Preservation magazine. 

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Technology

Just In