An excellent decision.
But could someone clarify something for me. Does this mean that extra funding will now be given to the NIH to be awarded towards stem cell research or does it mean that the funding will come from the existing NIH budget and that, put simply, stem cell researchers can now apply for it.
Im not exactly sure how it works.http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-stemcells-states13-2009mar13,0,773884.story
Im trying to find this out now. Check out this new link, looks like there is going to be a fight!
I think it simply means that US government funds can now be used to work on these stem cells, which in turn means that funds can be applied for.
The basics are as following:
1. According to Bush, federal funds could only be used on the 21 stem cell lines that were developed before August 2001
2. The lift of the ban does not mean scientist can use federal funds to develop new stem cells (there is a second ban preventing the development of new stem cells from embryos that has not been lifted). In other words, scientists cannot develop new stem cells from embryos using federal money.
3. Yet, with the lifting of the ban scientists can use federal money to research new stem cell that were (or are) developed without using federal funds. In other words, now the only limitation is on the development of new stem cells from embryos.
4. Ever since the August 2001 ban, scientists all over the world have developed ways of creating stem cells from adult cells instead of embryos, essentially getting around the politics of using embryos. Thanks to these new technologies much of the Republican legislation against stem cells was already essentially worthless.
In short, the lifting of the ban is great news because a significant barrier has been lifted. Yet at the same time scientist had already taken steps to get around this. If you ask a stem cell researcher, one of the things he or she will tell you is that lifting the ban is great because now you do not have to dance around the subject. Also they do not have to spend time tinkering with their budget so that no federal money was being used to develop stem cells. In essence, the average stem cell scientist no longer has to run two budgets: the federal money that was being used on everything else, and the "other" non-federal money (most of it private) funding the development of stem cells.
You could argue that for a scientist, as much as having access to this new money is the psychological boost of not having to deal with limitations.
You've got to love a scientist's creativity.