Finally, the ill-conceived restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research have been lifted:
The Obama administration on Wednesday approved the first human embryonic stem cells for experiments by federally funded scientists under a new policy designed to dramatically expand government support for one of the most promising but also most contentious fields of biomedical research.
The National Institutes of Health authorized 11 lines of cells produced by scientists at the Children’s Hospital in Boston and two lines created by researchers at the Rockefeller University in New York. All were obtained from embryos left over by couples seeking treatment for infertility.
“This is a real change in the landscape,” NIH Director Francis Collins said. “This is the first down payment on what is going to be a much longer list . . . that will empower the scientific community to explore the potential of embryonic stem cell research.”