U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to sign an executive order
Monday reversing restrictions on federal funding of embryonic stem cell
An administration official, speaking on condition of
anonymity, says President Obama will hold an event at the White House
to announce the move.
Supporters say stem cell research can be
used to make medical advances in treating diseases such as Alzheimer's
and Parkinson's or to treat spinal cord injuries. Critics say the use
of human embryos for research is an immoral act which cannot be
justified, even if it achieves a good end.
The science is
controversial because human embryos are destroyed to obtain the cells.
Embryonic stem cells can develop into any cell of the body.
August 2001, then-President George W. Bush banned federal funding for
research using new lines of human embryonic stem cells beyond the lines
already in use.
He also vetoed congressional attempts to override the decision.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.