Archive by category | Policy

As NIH gains ability to fund embryonic stem cell research, California stem cell institute poised to run out of cash

With the U.S. National Institute of Health poised to fund more grants in both non-embryonic and embryonic stem cell research, the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine hopes to focus on the research that can move the science to treating patients. But it’s set to run out of cash. Both Science and the LA Times have written about this recently (links below)  … Read more

President’s council on bioethics speaks out against … the president

Cross-posted from the Great BeyondTen members of the 18-member President’s Council on Bioethics have criticised US President Barack Obama’s recent executive order lifting the restrictions on federal funding for human embryonic stem-cell research.  Read more

With NIH back in the game, CIRM leans toward translation

Cross-posted from The Great BeyondObama’s decision made scientists cheer, but raised a question for CIRM: how would its leaders make the case that the agency is still necessary – especially when the state is trying to crawl out of a fiscal crisis? The California voters created CIRM in 2004 in part because the federal government wasn’t funding much human embryonic stem cell research. But with the hands of the National Institutes of Health no longer tied, long-time critics have said CIRM should “adopt a secondary role to NIH” or even close shop entirely.  Read more

Obama poised to lift stem-cell restrictions

Cross-posted from The Great Beyond on behalf of Erika Check Hayden. Stem cell researchers may have to wait no longer: President Barack Obama appears ready to lift the ban on U.S. federal funding for research on human embryonic stem cell lines created after August 9, 2001. The ban was put in place by President George W. Bush, who was responding to concerns among abortion opponents that research on human embryonic stem cells is morally problematic because it involves destruction of embryos. Obama will reportedly sign an executive order overturning the ban on Monday, 9 March. The Washington Post also reported  … Read more

Reports: Obama to lift ES cell funding ban Monday morning

After a lot of wondering about when it would happen, several news outlets are announcing that President Obama will overturn restrictions on funding human embryonic stem cell research on Monday morning, still within 50 days of his taking the oath of office. Some pundits had expected Obama to lift the restrictions within the first days of his presidency, feeding speculation that Obama wanted federal funding for the research to be authorized by Congressional authority.  Read more

Stem-cell funding ban: what’s Obama waiting for?

Meredith Wadman’s article on NatureNews explores why Obama has not yet lifted the ban on federal funds for human embryonic stem cell research. Some say that he’s preoccupied with the economic crisis; others that the Administration feels simply reversing the executive order isn’t enough, and so new legislation is required. One worry: the Dickey-Wicker amendment, which predates the Bush funding ban, might be interpreted to prohibit funds for the research. This legislation, which has been renewed yearly ever since its enactment in 1995, prohibits the use of federal funds that create or destroy embryos. Many legal scholars doubt it would apply to research on cells after the embryos have been derived, but the concern is real.  Read more

News round-up: Obama and the stem-cell ban

President Obama has promised Democrats that the ban on the federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research will be lifted. See this blog post from the Washington Post. The first paragraph of this Washington Times article describes the context of one such promise, and then abandons further policy discussion to describe presidential air travel. Meanwhile, this more analytic piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer describes why Obama seems to prefer legislative action to allow embryonic stem cell research, and why scientists seem to prefer it too, as it would mean that subsequent presidents couldn’t re-impose the ban by fiat. More than a swift lifting of the funding ban, Obama seems to value implementing the economic stimulus package and coordinating with Congress.  Read more