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NIH Cuts Off Stem Cell Funding after Court Order
The National Institutes of Health announced Tuesday that it has suspended funding new human embryonic stem cell research and that all federally funded experiments already underway will be cut off when they come up for renewal if a new court order is not overturned.
The announcement - which confirmed fears among proponents that the ruling would result in a comprehensive freeze in federal support for stem cell research - came in response to a court order Monday barring the government from funding the research because it involves the destruction of embryos.
"Frankly, I was stunned, as was virtually everyone else at the NIH yesterday, at the judicial decision," said NIH Director Francis Collins. "This decision has the potential to do serious harm to one of the most promising areas of biomedical research."
The Justice Department said the administration plans to appeal the ruling, but no further details were released.