New threat to US stem cell research

On Monday, a US court announced a ruling against President Obama's decision to permit government funding of embryonic stem cell research.

When President Obama agreed to lift the restrictions banning government-funded stem cell research in March last year, stem cell scientists were jubilant. The extra government funding would help scientists further understand how embryonic stem cells could be used to treat conditions like Parkinson's.

Obama's predecessor George W Bush was strongly against the use of embryonic stem cells on ethical grounds, and banned their use.

Parkinson's UK has always supported research using all types of stem cells. These cells have the unique ability to transform into many other types of cells - including those lost as Parkinson's develops. They are like a blank canvas on which we can draw many different types of painting. For these reasons, we think they hold great potential for the future of Parkinson's treatments.

However, we're not yet sure which type of stem cells are the most useful in the search for a cure for Parkinson's. So it's vital that stem cell research continues to be funded here and in the US.

We're really fortunate to live in a country that listens to scientists and encourages this type of innovative research.

You can read about Parkinson's UK-funded researcher Richard Wade-Martins and his work with iPS stem cells on our website.

Share your views on stem cell research, both in the UK and elsewhere, below or email

1 comment:

Ann Hone said...

Stem Cell Research is the way forward. It is vitally important in the search for a cure for Parkinson's and many other neurological disorders.

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