California scientists await Obama's lifting of stem cell ban

The Sacramento BeeMarch 9, 2009 

Well before word emerged that President Barack Obama would lift the ban on federal funding for most embryonic stem cell research, UC Davis scientists had already chosen four stem lines they're planning to order.

One is well suited to growing into cells affected by Parkinson's disease, and another could aid research into Huntington's, said Jan Nolta, director of stem cell program at UC Davis health system.

The other two are better suited to general research, and all bypass the problems of the dozen or so federally authorized embryonic stem cell lines that are reproducing well, Nolta said.

"We're really ready," she said, noting that Obama had long indicated he opposed former President George W. Bush's ban on research funding for all but a few of the oldest stem cells derived from human embryos.

"The next day that's signed, they'll be on their way to us," Nolta said.

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