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Bush Administration Might End Embryonic Stem Cell Research Funding

Regulations issued by the Clinton administration allowing federally sponsored biomedical research with cells from human embryos might be revoked by the White House, despite the great potential embryonic stem cells have as an all-purpose material to heal parts of the body and replace failing tissues and organs. The National Institutes of Health recently released a report that concludes stem cells extracted from embryos hold more potential to develop cures for a range of debilitating diseases–diabetes, AIDS, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Lou Gherig’s–than stem cells from adult bones and organs.

Although the Bush administration has yet to release its official decision, administration officials report that possible compromises have been discussed, such as permitting only the research on a few established embryonic cell lines to continue, Senator Arlen Specter said that “it may well be that we have more than 70 votes in the United States Senate” to remove any ban on such research. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson has also expressed a strong desire to continue funding for embryonic stem cell research.

Sources:

kaisernetwork.org - June 22, 2001 and National Institutes of Health