Embryonic Stem Cell Research Largely Funded by States

Dec 20, 2010   

Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology have published a study shedding some light on the source of funding for embryonic stem cell research. According to the study, most of the research using human embryonic stem cells has been funded by states, rather than the federal government, even though federal spending for stem cell research is higher overall.

While the findings suggest that the federal government is focusing its funds on different types of stem cell research, the current state of the law does not preclude federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. Aaron Levine, an Assistant Professor at Georgia Tech and author of the study, suggested that the disparity in the funding may be due in part to state-adopted programs that incentivize scientific study using human embryonic stem cells.

According to the study, it is likely that these state-initiated incentives were developed to promote research during the Bush Administration, when federal funding for much of this research was eliminated. Although many of these state-led programs may have developed to fill the void by providing a means of funding research that was ineligible for federal funds, Levine found that most of the research being performed during the Bush era was actually eligible for federal assistance. However, it remains unclear whether this disparity reflects the different priorities of the federal government or lack of information regarding the eligibility of federal funds for this type of research.

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