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President Barack Obama is allowing federal taxpayer dollars to fund embryonic stem cell research, the latest reversal of his predecessor's policies. The president, who plans to sign an order later Monday, will be fulfilling a campaign promise that could set in motion a broad push on research to find better treatment for ailments from diabetes to paralysis. Proponents such as former first lady Nancy Reagan and the late actor Christopher Reeve had called for ending restrictions on research spending.
Finally, after almost a decade of limiting taxpayer money for research president Barrack Obama has lifted the restrictions on federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research today.
Back in 2001 George W. Bush restricted funding stem cell research to only a few stem cells that had been created prior to Aug. 9, 2001. This decision was based on politics and religion rather than science. Since then the rest of the world has taken a huge step forward in understanding and bringing commercial products closer to the market than the U.S.
For those unaware embryonic stem cells are pluripotent, meaning they have the ability to form into any cell type that make up the human body. Scientists across the globe (except the U.S.) hope to utilize them to regenerate brain cells lost in Parkinson's, repairing spinal cord injuries as well as treating diabetes, cancer, heart disease, multiple sclerosis and many more defects. Stem cells also help in understanding the human development and growth of diseases. If scientists can map the growth of a disease they will have a greater chance at forming treatments.
Let's think of how many Americans are suffering from the aforementioned ailments and what this research can do for them. I'm sure everyone reading this knows someone important to them that is affected by one of these maladies. Research in the U.S.has not progressed since earlier this decade, cures are a very long time away and lets not even discuss the approval requirement by the FDA. At least this can be seen as a huge step forward to join the rest of the world at bringing about cures that could help millions of people including you and I some day. For those interested in learning more about this topic please visit: http://stemcells.nih.gov/info/basics/basics5.asp%20
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