Friday, November 07, 2008

Good News on Stem Cell Research

For those of us who love stem cell research but don't want embryos destroyed to do it, the national election results were scary. But the news was good in Nebraska.

As has always been true, the entire Nebraska congressional delegation remains opposed to destruction of embryos for stem cell research.

Tim Clare won big in the race for the Lincoln-based seat on the NU Board of Regents. The regents govern all the NU campuses and set the general parameters for research. Clare's opponent made advocacy of embryo-destructive stem cell research the number one issue in the campaign.

Clare's victory means that 5 of 8 regents favor stem cell research without resorting to human cloning or destruction of human embryos.

State law now bans cloning and embryo destruction at state facilities in Nebraska, but, per federal guidelines, research with stem cells from embryos destroyed elsewhere prior to August 2001 can continue. If federal policy becomes more permissive and federal funding is allowed for renewed destruction of embryos for research, will the regents allow research in the NU system with embryonic stem cells harvested after August 2001?

Because they were split 4-4 on destroying embryos for stem cells, the policy of the regents had been to follow federal guidelines. If federal policy becomes more permissive, my side hopes that a 5-3 majority of regents will be emboldened to hold the line in Nebraska.

1 comment:

OmaSteak said...

Saw head of Obama's transition team on one of the Sunday shows and he stated Obama will cancel Bush's executive order banning embryonic stem cell research ban immediately upon taking office. NU will be in the crowd scrambling to get in on the flow of Federal research dollars so the Regents will be revisiting the issue in the near future. Look for them to reverse course so NU gets in on the large research grants. Good luck with your lobbying efforts but I think the desire for the big $s will win in the end.