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House Votes to Expand Federal Funding for Stem Cell Research

The US House of Representatives voted yesterday to expand federal funding of stem cell research, despite threats of a veto from President Bush. The vote of 238 to 194 included 50 Republicans, but fell short of the two-thirds majority required to override a potential veto. The bill is intended to address President Bush’s 2001 decision to limit federal funding to research that uses stem cells that existed before his policy, but a study this year showed that all human stem cells eligible for federal research were found to be contaminated.

Scientists in South Korea recently announced they have developed a method for cloning human embryos and then extracting the stem cells. The plan is to produce stem cells that are exact genetic matches of individual patients so that their immune systems would not reject the stem cells, according to the New York Times. Stem cells that could hold the key to cures for such degenerative diseases as Parkinson’s, neural injuries and diabetes.

Sources:

Washington Post 5/25/05; New York Times 5/20/05, 5/21/05

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