Feeds

EU will fund stem cell science

But there's a catch

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The EU yesterday decided not to follow the Bush administration's lead and declined to impose a blanket ban on federal funding of scientists doing research on embryonic stem cells.

The politicians disappointed scientists, however, by refusing to allow EU cash to be used in projects which involve harvesting stem cells from surplus IVF embryos. Religious and pro-life lobbyists argue this constitutes taking human life, though scientists argue the embryos are currently destroyed when not required by an infertile couple.

In a statement, UK scientists' body the Royal Society said: "It remains to be seen what impact these limitations will have on stem cell research given that they impose greater restrictions than currently exist for EU research funding. It also remains to be seen whether the European Parliament approves these restrictions in November."

A qualified majority voted for proposals which do not include harvesting cells to be included in the £37bn 2007 to 2013 research budget. Poland, Austria, Malta, Slovakia and Lithuania voted against funding the entire field. The German research minister who had earlier told the meeting: "We must conserve human life from its conception. We want no financial incentives to kill embryos," accepted the compromise to fund every stage of stem cell science bar the first.

Speaking to The Guardian, Stephen Hawking, who famously suffers from motor neurone disease, described the EU settlement as a "fudge".

National governments remain free to fund scientists as they wish. The UK research councils have already given funding to therapeutic cloning projects, similar to those faked in Korea by Hwang Woo-Suk.

The worry among academics is that the EU funding restrictions will make pan-European cooperation more difficult, and so slow progress towards cures for debilitating diseases such as Parkinson's. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
Cutting cancer rates: Data, models and a happy ending?
How surgery might be making cancer prognoses worse
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Brit balloon bod Bodnar overflies North Pole
B-64 amateur ultralight payload approaching second circumnavigation
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?