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Congress revisits stem cell funding

Janet Babin Jan 11, 2007
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Congress revisits stem cell funding

Janet Babin Jan 11, 2007
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TEXT OF STORY

SCOTT JAGOW: Scientists say embryonic stem cells could help cure many diseases, but taking those cells from human embryos and paying for it with taxpayer dollars is quite the moral debate. Today, the House revisits this issue, even though President Bush vetoed a similar bill last year. Janet Babin reports from our Innovations Desk at North Carolina Public Radio.


JANET BABIN: Recent polls show a majority of Americans want the government to pay for embryonic stem cell research, but since 2001 President Bush has limited funding for it. He and others believe using these cells is morally wrong, because it kills human embryos.

Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg with Duke University Medical Center says not funding the research could be shortening the lives of her pediatric patients. She says it’s also encouraging scientists to take their business overseas.

JOANNE KURTZBERG: I think that the federal restrictions have dampened progress here. I know personally of some very talented researchers who have left the country in order to be able to do their work.

Some in the Senate believe they have enough yes votes to override a presidential veto, but the outcome in the House is not so certain.

In Durham, North Carolina, I’m Janet Babin for Marketplace.

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