WASHINGTON — A U.S. appeals court cleared the way Friday for continued federal funding of research using human embryonic stem cells, a ruling that scientists hailed as a victory for medical progress.
Stem cells from embryos are believed to hold great promise for treating hard-to-treat illnesses or conditions, such as Parkinson's disease or spinal cord injuries. But the research itself remains controversial because it makes use of cells from early-stage embryos.
Last year, U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth surprised scientists by ordering a temporary halt to new research grants. He said this funding appeared to violate a congressional ban on using federal money for research in "which embryos are destroyed."