U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth just ruled that funding for embryonic stem cell research doesn't violate federal law, clearing the way for more study. This is huge news for doctors, patients, and President Obama. Sucks if you're a religious conservative.
Obama hoped to expand funding to stem cell research in order to find treatments to diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. However, a lawsuit filed by two researchers, Dr. James Shirley and Theresa Deisher, sought to block funding by arguing that taxpayer financing for the destruction of human embryos is illegal. Not so much for moral reasons, but because their own research into adult stem cells could have been harmed by the competition.
Lamberth himself thought the suit would succeed and blocked funding last year, but the administration sent the case to the Circuit Court of Appeals, where his ruling was overturn. Lamberth finally reversed his decision today.
This is a good, exciting news. Even though the debate will for sure continue, scientists can now carry on with their work without dealing with so much politicking. [Huffington Post, Reuters, Image Credit: Sven Hoppe/Shutterstock]