A federal appeals court ruled the federal government may continue to fund embryonic stem cell (ESC) research within the US. The court could have ruled to ban government-funded stem-cell research, so this decision is a victory for government scientists.
The unanimous decision asserted that federal funds for ESC research don't violate the Dickey-Wicker amendment, which prohibits the use of taxpayer money to harm a human embryo. But the decision did specify that government research must use "already-derived" ESCs from private labs, rather than deriving the cells themselves. That's because "already-derived ESCs...are not themselves embryos [and] no 'human embryo or embryos are destroyed' in such projects," said the judge in the case.