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Senate to Review Stem Cell Decision

A U.S. Senate committee will convene to day to address whether Bush’s stem cell policy will hinder scientific research that could yield live-saving treatments for Parkinson’s disease, cancer, and other life-threatening illnesses. Since Bush announced limited federal funding for a supposed 64 stem cell lines on August 9th, scientists have criticized the decision, citing that at least 34 of the 64 total colonies are too immature for scientific research, many have been mixed with mice cells, and that a significant number, 44, are owned by medical research groups outside the U.S. Based on these critiques, the Senate committee is expected to address whether Congress should expand funding for stem cell research beyond what President Bush has already proposed. Anti-abortion advocates have already stated that they will be watching the stem cell debate closely, fueling speculation that Bush’s decision was based in large part on a desire to placate political supporters rather than on the opportunity to advance cures and treatments for life-threatening illnesses.

Sources:

USA Today, 9/5/01; New York Times, 9/4/01