Nearly 6 in 10 Americans disapprove of President Bush’s decision to veto a bill that would have expanded federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.

Human embryonic stem cells were only detected in 1998 and the ban on federal funding has deterred major research. Nonetheless, animal experiments have led to encouraging results. For example, Parkinson’s, which afflicts 2 percent of people over 65, is a progressively degenerative disease leading to loss of muscle. It is caused by a deficiency in dopamine production in the brain. Embryonic stem cells can be transformed into dopamine-producing neurons.

However most Americans do not feel the president made this decision in an attempt to gain political advantage, but rather on the basis of his personal moral beliefs. Republicans are much more likely than Democrats to support the president’s veto decision in this matter.

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