NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


April 5, 2006

On Aug. 9, 2001, President Bush announced a policy that allows federal funding for embryonic stem cell research only when it uses stem cell lines created on or before that date.

  • According to the Wall Street Journal, only about six embryonic stem cell lines eligible for federal funding are in "regular use."
  • Some researchers say the time to use the stem cell lines available for federal funding is limited because the more they are grown in the labs, the more genetic mutations the cells develop.
  • Legislation that would change federal embryonic stem cell research policy has stalled in Congress.

U.S. research in the area is gaining steam, says the Journal:

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding for embryonic stem cell research has increased more than 60 percent since 2004.
  • The agency granted more than $37 million to 154 projects last year.

Additionally, the restrictions on federal funding have had a "silver lining" for some research institutions, which have raised millions of dollars for stem cell research from private donors, according to the Journal.

Source: Antonio Regalado, "Embryo Stem-Cell Research Spreads Despite Curbs," Wall Street Journal, April 4, 2006.

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