- News Home
5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
- About Us
Judge Upholds Stem Cell Funding Ban
7 September 2010 5:29 pm
A Washington, D.C., judge said this afternoon that his ruling 2 weeks ago, halting all federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research, will stand while the case moves forward. Chief Judge Royce Lamberth, responding to a request from the Department of Justice (DOJ) that he stay his preliminary injunction, released a three-page order late this afternoon denying the request.
“Defendants are incorrect about much of their ‘parade of horribles’ that will supposedly result from this Court’s preliminary injunction,” Lamberth wrote. He’s referring to concerns expressed by DOJ that stopping the research is profoundly disruptive to labs and will delay progress in developing new treatments for a variety of diseases. The National Institutes of Health halted all research within its walls last week, although already funded work outside NIH can continue, for now.
Lamberth believes his hands are tied by the Dickey-Wicker Amendment, enacted 14 years ago by Congress to prohibit federal funding for the destruction of embryos. Lamberth interprets that to include funding of research on human embryonic stem cells more broadly, even though the Department of Health and Human Services and several presidential Administrations have not agreed.
“In this Court’s view, a stay [allowing funding to continue] would flout the will of Congress,” Lamberth wrote. “Congress remains perfectly free to amend or revise” the Dickey-Wicker amendment. “This Court is not free to do so.”
The next step in the case is expected to come by the end of this week. At that time, the plaintiffs—adult stem cell researchers James Sherley and Theresa Deisher—expect to file what’s called a motion for summary judgment, which asks that the case be decided without a trial. This could resolve things one way or another—and in the meantime, says Lamberth, the new status quo will stick.
See our complete coverage of this issue.