Obama Admin Approves First Embryonic Stem Cell Experimentation
As of today, the Obama administration approved the first beginnings of embryonic stem cell experimentation. The National Institute of Health authorized a total of 13 lines of cells, 11 of which were produced at Boston's Children's Hospital, and 2 of which were from researchers at New York's Rockefeller University. All of the embryos to be used in embryonic stem cell research experimentation were from couples who had been seeking infertility treatment.
Millions of dollars will go into research using hundreds of lines of embryonic stem cells for experimental research in order to gain new insights into various health issues. By genetically manipulating the cells, they can become a testing model for the treatment of human genetic disorders. This kind of experimental research could go a long way with treatment for paraplegics, for example, by way of injecting stem cells. This marks the first time that a policy has been passed that allows for the use of embryonic stem cells for medical experimentation purposes.
"This is a real change in the landscape," NIH Director Francis Collins said. "This is the first down payment on what is going to be a much longer list . . . that will empower the scientific community to explore the potential of embryonic stem cell research."
Former US President George W. Bush had prevented this kind of policy from going forward during his Presidency based on the opinion that the use of embryonic stem cells would be unethical. The main difference in this new policy from the Obama administration is that federal funding will be permitted for embryonic stem cell experiments. The embryonic stem cell lines will still have to be created using private funding, but the government is now permitting their funding in the actual experimental process.
The use of embryonic stem cells in an experimental capacity has caused a great deal of controversy. Many believe along with Bush that the use of the cells for experimentation is immoral. There are many others, however, who are thrilled to see this policy being approved as it will undoubtedly open many doors for medical research and lesd to new treatments for many illnesses.
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