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Obama to reverse Bush era stem-cell ban

President Barack Obama is expected to lift restrictions on government funding for new stem cell lines on Monday, reported the BBC.

Officials say that Obama will revoke the ban by executive order on Monday, indicating a major change in U.S. policy since former President George Bush banned the use of any government money to fund research on human embryonic stem cell lines.

The debate has always been between scientists, which say the stem cell research would lead to major medical breakthroughs, and religious groups which oppose the research.

The Star Tribune reported that the president's overturning will make a major declaration that science — not political ideology — would guide his administration. The BBC reported a similar message, saying it would make clear that his administration wants scientific research to be free from political interference. It will also satisfy a campaign promise.

"We've got eight years of science to make up for," said Dr. Curt Civin to the Associated Press, whose research allowed scientists to isolate stem cells and who now serves as the founding director of the University of Maryland Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. "Now, the silly restrictions are lifted."

It is also thought that the timing of the announcement and the order is to allow enough time for health officials to create research guidelines before a deadline for government stimulus money runs out.

Star Tribune: http://www.startribune.com/politics/national/40929702.html?elr=KArksLckD8EQDUoaEyqyP4O:DW3ckUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aULPQL7PQLanchO7DiUsT