U.S. court decision repeals ban restricting stem cell research

Katrina Tollin

A U.S. appeals court lifted the ban on federal funding used for embryonic stem cell research in a 2-1 vote Friday.

Paul Simmons, director of the Centre for Stem Cell Research at the Health Science Center in Houston said the ban had not yet affected the school’s research funding.

“Had the appeals court ruling gone the other way, that could have been a very different scenario from now on,” Simmons said.

Two groups at the Houston Health Science Center are researching the use of embryonic cells in curing immunology and blood deficiencies.

Embryonic stem cells’ potential use in curing diseases is based on the flexibility of the cell to adjust itself to mirror any cell in the body and the potential impact of curing diseases and removing strains on the health care system is enormous, Simmons said.

Research at the UT Health Science Center in San Antonio will not be affected by the ruling because research at the center uses adult stem cells, said vice president for research Brian Herman.