The U.S. Federal Court of Appeals has green-lighted embryonic stem cell research in the U.S. August 2010 ban on its federal funding that was the last stumbling block has been abolished. This decision will enable broader research on stem cell functions and curative effects in treating diseases that are incurable by traditional therapeutic methods.
The ruling was greeted by the President Obama and the field’s key scientists. It is expected that the federal funding will allow studies in the area of stem cell treatment to make a great leap forward. The scientists plan, in particular, to compare characteristics and effectiveness in life-saving therapies of different cell types—embryonic stem cells, stem cells derived from skin cell lines, etc.
In March 2009, the Obama Administration lifted a ban on federal funding for the embryonic stem cell research. It resulted in August 2010 lawsuit on the matter that this decision had contradicted the bar on using public funds for the research that involved destroying embryos in effect. The Court of Appeals ruling became a final step in the battle. The Court motivated its decision by the fact that the bar on funding concerned only destruction of embryos due to deriving embryonic stem cells but not the use of funding for the research involving such cells.