WASHINGTON (BP)--A federal judge suspended funding of embryonic stem cell research by the Obama administration Aug. 23.
"The sad thing about all of this is embryonic stem cell research has been made virtually obsolete."
-- Richard Land
Royce Lamberth, chief judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, issued a preliminary injunction blocking the continued application of last year's federal guidelines governing grants for research on stem cells taken from human embryos. The ruling means federal funds will not be provided for such experiments while the case proceeds in court.
In issuing the injunction, Lamberth found the guidelines published in 2009 by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) violated a law that prohibits federal funds for research in which a human embryo is destroyed. The ability of stem cells to convert to other cells and tissues has provided great hope for developing cures for various diseases, but extracting stem cells from an embryo results in the destruction of the days-old human being. Opponents of embryonic stem cell research note that the research has yet to provide any treatment for human beings. They also say federal funding should concentrate on alternatives they say are more promising: adult stem cell research and induced pluriponent stem cell research, neither of which involves embryos. "Pluriponent" means a stem cell theoretically can transform into any cell or tissue in the body. Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent. Read More