As the Presidential election approaches, the controversy stubbed stem cell research is likely to have a change in politics. Both McCain and Democrat Barack Obama have said they favor easing restrictions on spending public money to finance embryonic stem cell research.

In 2001, Bush issued an executive order allowing only limited federal funding of work involving human embryonic stem cells. Congress has tried several times to loosen restrictions but Bush has vetoed every effort. Obama supports embryonic stem cell research. McCain’s stand is less clear.

McCain said in a statement given September 15 to a website devoted to discussing science and the elections, www.sciencedebate2008.com/,

“While I support federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, I believe clear lines should be drawn that reflect a refusal to sacrifice moral values and ethical principles for the sake of scientific progress.”

Researchers, have discovered ways to make powerful stem cells using ordinary skin cells. Called induced pluripotent stem cells or iPS cells, these new cells appear to behave like embryonic stem cells.Other teams have directly reprogrammed one type of cell into another type, and other types of stem cells have also shown promise in experiments. However, they are not sure whether these cells are useful as human embryonic stem cells.

Source:REUTERS