I just watched it live on CNN.com! Whoa!
Because stem cells have the potential to turn into any organ or tissue cell in the body, research advocates say they could yield cures to debilitating conditions such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and spinal injuries. But because work on embryonic stem cells involves the destruction of human embryos, many conservatives supported the limits Bush imposed by executive order in 2001.
Dr. Harold Varmus, president of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and co-chairman of Obama’s science advisory council, said Sunday that Obama will “endorse the notion that public policy must be guided by sound, scientific advice.”
Obama’s order will direct the National Institutes of Health to develop revised guidelines on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research within 120 days, said Varmus, who joined Barnes in the conference call with reporters.
“The president is, in effect, allowing federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research to the extent that it’s permitted by law — that is, work with stem cells themselves, not the derivation of stem cells,” he said.
Obama also said that he hopes Congress will continue to support stem-cell research legislatively. All of this is incredibly excellent news, and I cannot possibly express how very happy I am about the development. It looks like we may in fact be moving towards a real “culture of life,” which values the lives of actual people. Go President Obama!
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