A US district court issued a preliminary injunction stopping federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research in a slap to the Obama administration's new guidelines on the sensitive issue.
The court ruled in favor of a suit filed in June by researchers who said human embryonic stem cell research involves the destruction of human embryos.
Judge Royce Lamberth granted the injunction after finding that the lawsuit would likely succeed because the guidelines violated law banning the use of federal funds to destroy human embryos.
"(Embryonic stem cell) research is clearly research in which an embryo is destroyed," Lamberth wrote in a 15-page ruling. The Obama administration could appeal his decision or try to rewrite the guidelines to comply with US law.
The unusual suit against the National Institutes of Health, backed by some Christian groups opposed to embryo research, argued that the NIH policy violates US law and takes funds from researchers seeking to work with adult stem cells.
The US Department of Justice and NIH had no immediate comment. (Reuters Health/ August 2010)
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