Judge halts federal stem cell aid

Yesterday, a federal district judge temporarily blocked the Obama administration’s 2009 executive order that created an opportunity for expanded embryonic stem cell research. According to an article in today’s Boston Globe, the judge made his decision because “regulations designed to expand federal funding for embryonic stem cell research violated a law prohibiting destruction of embryos for research purposes.”

Beginning in March 2009, the Obama administration’s order allowed researchers to work with embryonic stem cells from donated embryos, with donor consent. Now, stem cell researchers that began work after the 2009 order must decide whether to abandon the new projects or find funding that does not involve federal dollars.

How do you think this ruling will affect stem cell research, and biomedical research as a whole? And, how can researchers and IRBs comply with this ruling without abandoning valuable progress in these studies?