Pessimism of Stem Cell Field on Federal Court Case: Poll results

Stem cellsI put up a poll recently asking readers how they predicted the federal court would rule on federal funding of human ESC research.

Six out of 10 respondents believed that the court would rule against the government, in effect making federal funding of ESC research illegal.

In addition, one third of respondents believed an immediate injunction would bar such funding even while the case would be pending before a potential review by the Supreme Court.

Overall these findings reflect a relatively gloomy outlook and perhaps portend bad news for those of us, myself included, who received federal funding for research on ESCs. Such funding is critically important for advance not only our knowledge, but also potential new treatments and cures for millions of patients.

Recent oral arguments in the federal case before the conservative 3-judge panel have been interpreted by some to be more aggressive toward the government than the plaintiffs, but you never know how they will rule. One possibility is they will in effect defer to the earlier ruling from the same court (different 3-judge panel) in favor of the government.

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