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The Stem Cell Debate

Denise Cooper-Clarke examines developments in the stem cell debate in the latest issue of Engage Mail:

President Obama and the Stem Cell Debate
What has changed?

In August 2001, then U.S. President George W. Bush limited federal funding for human embryonic stem cell (HESC) research to just 21 pre-existing stem cell lines, citing "fundamental questions about the beginnings of life and the ends of science." On Monday March 9, 2009, President Obama overturned that policy, allowing federally funded researchers to use hundreds of new stem cell lines. So, it is not that HESC research was stopped altogether and will now begin again. Research using new stem cell lines was being conducted, but financed by state authorities (eg. California, Massachusetts and New York) and private biotech companies. But the change in policy is likely to greatly increase HESC research, and hence the number of embryos destroyed in the process.

View more on the Engage Mail web page.

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