James Randerson: Repealing Bush's stem cell law is an easy and obvious change for Barack Obama to make
August 9 2001. This date is seared in the minds of many US scientists as the most potent symbol of the Bush administration's willingness to put religious-inspired ideology over rationalism and scientific progress. This was president Bush's cut-off date for federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. Any cell lines created after this date could not benefit from federal funding including the massive $28bn pot handed out annually by the National Institutes of Health. Sweeping away the policy looks like being an early priority for president-elect Obama and it was a cornerstone of his science manifesto (pdf).This is an important step that will accelerate stem cell research in the US. Private and state funding has maintained America's position as the world leader in stem cell research, but the confidence of longer term federal funding for blue skies research will undoubtedly give the field a boost.It will also leave other countries...
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