The push-pull between the Obama administration and U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth over the government's funding of embryonic stem cell research has swung back the other way, at least temporarily lifting the temporary injunction blocking federal funding for embryonic stem cell research that was issued last month.
Researchers at dozens of labs across the country are scrambling today to figure out exactly where their research stands and if feeding their cell cultures is even legal after a ruling handed down yesterday by a federal judge blocked President Obama's 2009 executive order expanding the scope of embryonic stem cell research. At issue: Whether or not Obama's policy violates a federal ban on federal money contributing to the destruction of embryos. At stake: A whole lot of ongoing medical science that could be cut down in stride.
President Obama lifted the Bush-era restrictions on embryonic stem cell lines last spring, but hundreds of cell lines have remained locked away undergoing review. Now the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has finally deemed 13 embryonic lines ready for use, and could make a decision on 20 or more by Friday, the Associated Press reports.
In 2009, science got a hefty shot in the arm from the federal government's stimulus spending. Now U.S. citizens can see exactly how their taxpayer dollars go toward funding video games that test autism responses, or discovering lakes hidden beneath the Antarctic ice sheet.