Top Gov't Scientist Asks Stem Cell Judge To Lift Funding Ban : The Two-Way The NIH warned of harm to research if a ban on federal funding of human embryo stell cell research. Francis Crick, the director of the federal institution, said discoveries could be lost and research deeply hurt.
NPR logo Top Gov't Scientist Asks Stem Cell Judge To Lift Funding Ban

Top Gov't Scientist Asks Stem Cell Judge To Lift Funding Ban

Dr. Francis Collins Official portrait /National Institutes of Health hide caption

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Official portrait /National Institutes of Health

It will be a cruel blow to those suffering diseases and conditions that could otherwise be cured if a federal judge doesn't lift his ban on the federal funding of human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research, according to Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes and Health.

Collins made the assertion in a filing with U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth who rocked the bioscience and medical worlds with his recent decision.

Meanwhile, the Obama Administration filed its notice that it was appealing the judge's decision. That wasn't a surprise since the administration had said earlier it would do so.

As a complement to Cricks' filing, the Obama Administration officially asked the judge to stay of his injunction.

An excerpt from Collins' filing:

"The preliminary injunction issued in this case will have extraordinary adverse effects not only on the prospects of delivering new therapies to patients suffering from numerous diseases and disorders but also on scientific progress from the wider biomedical research community.

It will result in immeasurable loss of valuable and one-of-a-kind research resources. Unique modifications and applications of hESC, underway in laboratories with federally-funded research as far back as 2002, could be lost irretrievably or could take years to recreate."