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Supreme Court won’t hear stem cell funding suit

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Jan. 14, 2013

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The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to take up a case challenging the federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. The high court’s denial effectively means the federal government may continue financial support of such research.

Two physician researchers sued the Dept. of Health & Human Services in 2009, arguing that paying for expanded stem cell studies violated a 1996 law preventing taxpayers from financing research that harms embryos. The scientists said the expansion would harm their work studying adult stem cells, because it would increase competition for limited federal dollars.

The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld a lower court’s dismissal of the challenge on Aug. 24, 2012, and the physicians appealed. The Supreme Court refused to accept the case on Jan. 7, allowing the appeals decision to stand.

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