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You are here News Health Embryonic stem cell research stalled despite Obama's try at lifting restrictions

Embryonic stem cell research stalled despite Obama's try at lifting restrictions

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One year after President Obama announced he was lifting his predecessor's controversial restrictions on federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research, some scientists are complaining that so far the new policy is -- ironically -- more of a burden than a boon to their work.

"The situation at the moment is worse than it was under the Bush administration," said Charles Murry, a professor of pathology and bioengineering at the University of Washington in Seattle. "Because of this, we are going to waste a lot of time." At issue is the fate of the 21 "lines of cells" that President George W. Bush said could receive federal funding.

Bush limited federal funding to the lines that were already in existence in 2001. He wanted to prevent taxpayer dollars from encouraging the destruction of more embryos to create more lines. Critics of the research praised Bush's move, arguing that destroying embryos to obtain the cell lines is immoral. But the restrictions were condemned by many scientists, who argued they were hindering research that could lead to cures for Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, paralysis and other ailments.

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