Stem-cell debate rages on

Ban blocks embryonic research

The Obama administration is appealing a ban on government funding for stem-cell research projects imposed by a federal judge who ruled that the embryonic research violates federal law, according to media reports.

In late August, U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth ruled that the government’s current policy on embryonic stem-cell research violates the Dickey-Wicker Amendment, which prohibits research that involves destroying human embryos. In a lawsuit, researchers working on alternatives to stem-cell studies challenged the use of federal funding, citing ethical reasons, and the amendment, as their opposition.

Stem-cell research involves destroying embryos to collect cells that can create tissues and treat diseases. Most embryos used are left over from fertility treatments. The government spends more than $100 million per year on stem-cell research, according to the Wall Street Journal.