On March 10, 2009, President Barack Obama reversed the United States stem cell policy. Obama signed an executive order removing former President George W. Bush’s restrictions on funding stem cell research.
Stem cell research is a fairly new study in science today. A stem cell is a cell that can make exact copies of itself indefinitely. Stem cell research is expected to impact advances in curing diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, spinal cord injury, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, and cancer. Embryonic stem cells are cells that come from a living embryo.
In November of 1998, James Thomson of the University of Wisconsin isolated the first human embryonic stem cell. In September of 2001 scientists learned how to make stem cells to turn into blood cells. In February of 2003 a method was developed for manipulating DNA in stem cells to develop a study for gene function.
In 2001, when former President George W. Bush came to office, he restricted federal funding for the research of embryonic stem cell. When this happened, many scientists were forced to relocate if they still wanted to continue their current study. Most scientists took their work and curiosity elsewhere to places such as Britain, China and Singapore, where the government was more receptive to their research and would fund the cause.
Former First Lady Nancy Reagan stated, “These new rules will now make it possible for scientists to move forward. I urge researchers to make use of the opportunities that are available to them and to do all they can to fulfill the promise that stem cell research offers.” In The Quest Resumes,” Time Magazine February 2009 article Davis Scadden, co-director of Harvard stem cell institute, said, “It’s a wonderful time for the stem cell field. Keep your seat belt on, because this ride is going to be wild.” Saying this, he was referring to the fact that President Barack Obama overturned the bill. Stem cell research is going to be back in action after the four year loss of time and funding, and they will be driving in as soon as possible at a fast pace and in high gear.
As the stem cell policy changes between research and funding, it is certain that the information of both embryonic stem cells and normal stem cells are going to expand and soon be a more penetrated topic in the U. S.