The federal government can continue financing embryonic stem cell research temporarily, after a federal appeals court reportedly lifted an injunction that blocked such work.
The move has certainly appeased university scientists who use this research in a search for cures for a range of devastating diseases.
AdvertisementAlthough the advocates of stem cell research welcomed the ruling of the appeals court, it has intensified the uncertainty that has surrounded the research since August 23, when the Chief Judge of Federal District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the government's stem cell rules violated a legislative ban on federal money being used to destroy embryos, The New York Times reports.
In the order made on Thursday, the appeals judges wrote that their ruling "should not be construed in any way as a ruling on the merits" of the case and asked both sides to file written arguments by September 20 this year.
Carl W. Tobias, a professor at the University of Richmond School of Law, said the appeals court was likely to overturn Judge Lamberth's ban in its final ruling.
"Judge Lamberth's order has been roundly criticized by many people in terms of the legislative history," Professor Tobias added.
This year, the health institutes provided 131 million dollars for the work, the paper said.
President George W. Bush was the first to allow federal financing of human embryonic stem cell research, but he limited the research to 21 cell lines already in existence to discourage further destruction of embryos. President Barack Obama promised in his campaign to expand the research and ordered the health institutes last year to create rules to do just that.
However, after Judge Lamberth's ruling last month, eight research projects at government labs with a combined annual budget of 9.5 million dollars were suspended, warning the university researchers not to expect any further annual payments for projects that have already been financed.