It seems the unending battle between scientists and the Catholic Church, in Germany, over the stem cell research, has entered a new stage, and yes it is the researchers, who have the smile of success. In a win-win situation for the stem cell researchers the German Parliament has loosens its restrictions on the use of stem cell in the research.

Germany’s lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, passed the law that allows the researchers to import and use stem cells created before May 1, 2007. So far, researchers in Germany could only use imported stem cells created before 2002. The new law loosens the restrictions and thus gives the scientists more freedom to facilitate stem cell study. German researchers, who had argued that many of the pre 2002 cell lines were no longer usable and that they needed access to newer cells, welcomed the decision. However other scientists said the new law did not go far enough and called for the deadline system to be scrapped.

The main aim of the law is to allow the researchers to keep up with the pace of the stem cell research worldwide, says Technology Minister Annette Schavan, herself a conservative and a Catholic. However, the catholics, always up against the research itself, opposes the decision as the process, they believe, is ‘unethical’.

However, The Federation of German Industries (BDI) also welcomed the new law. “In this way, Germany can continue to participate at the forefront of health research,” BDI head Werner Schnappauf said. He has added that the decision will help the country to attract more business and investment.

Source: BusinessWeek