Obama Repeals Order
Today President Obama repealed an order signed by former President Bush back in 2001 restricting federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. The executive order lifts some of the limitations on the types of embryonic stem cell research receiving government funding, according to Josephine Johnston, MS, LLB, a research scholar at The Hastings Center (www.thehastingscenter.org), a nonpartisan bioethics research institution.
Though more research (including some previously eligible solely for funding from private foundations and some states) will become eligible for federal funding, that in itself does not increase the amount of money available, Johnston told ADVANCE. Given the current economic circumstances and the lack of embryonic stem cell treatments, the immediate impact of the order (in terms of research, jobs and treatments generated) could be very modest.
However, the order, as well as the presidential memorandum Obama signed today, solidify his position on separating politics and science.
For more on stem cells, check out our Mar. 9 cover story, "From Research to Reality: Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation," in our digital edition, here.