Proponents of embryonic stem cell research, heartened by an executive order from President Obama which lifted many Bush-era restrictions on federal money for this controversial bio-medical research, are facing a setback after a federal court suspended the 2009 executive order. Chief Judge Royce C. Lamberth said the EO violated a ban on federal money being used to destroy embryos. The judge wrote that his temporary injunction returned federal policy to the “status quo." According to the NY Times: "few officials, scientists or lawyers in the case were sure Monday night what that meant" in practical terms for their ongoing research. "The judge ruled that the Obama administration’s policy was illegal because the administration’s distinction between work that leads to the destruction of embryos—which cannot be financed by the federal government under the current policy—and the financing of work using stem cells created through embryonic destruction was meaningless.
The Reagan appointee ruled that "If one step or 'piece of research' of an [embryonic stem cell] research project results in the destruction of an embryo, the entire project is precluded from receiving federal funding."
A spokesperson for the Justice Department said it was reviewing the court's ruling while researchers and officials at the National Institute of Health await guidance on how to proceed with new or existing research. Here's the rest of the Times report. Meanwhile, efforts continue substitute adult stem cells for embryonic cells for the advancement of this research, which could eventually translate into therapies for a number of devastating illnesses. You can read more about it in this issue of America: "A biomedical revolution."
And here's David Gibson's take at Politics Daily.