The Uncertainty of Stem Cell Work
October 06, 2010
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Embryonic stem cell researchers are weighing their career options and dealing with the worry that they may not be able to continue their work, says the New York Times' Amy Harmon. In August, federal judge Royce Lambeth ruled that federal money could not be used to fund embryonic stem cell research. The researchers, who have been operating with federal funding for the past year, may see their money dry up completely if an appeals court doesn’t overturn Lambeth's ruling. Jason Spence at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center checks Google News everyday for any tidbit of stem cell information, Harmon reports. Other researchers say that instead of concentrating on their work, they obsess over how the Supreme Court might rule in the case (if it gets that far) and how the results of the midterm Congressional elections could help or hurt their cause, Harmon adds. But other researchers are looking for alternative sources of funding — some are looking for financing from private foundations and others are considering switching to the private sector or even leaving the country. "Born in China, Dr. [Yi] Sun said she was now renewing efforts to collaborate with well-financed stem cell biologists there," Harmon says.