A federal judge’s stem cell ruling leaves some uncertainty at UW Madison. Carl Gulbrandsen is Managing Director of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. “The lines that are being used here under federal funding are the lines that were being distributed by the National Stem Cell Bank,” said Gulbrandson. “And frankly that’s the five original lines that were derived at UW Madison. Those lines were fine under the Bush executive order, that’s what’s being used here on campus.”
But there’s some uncertainty. The injunction (PDF) issued Monday by U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth could also prohibit work on those lines, which were authorized in 2001 by the administration of President George W. Bush. “That work has continued for nine years,” said Tom Still, President of the Wisconsin Technology Council. “Is this judge suggesting that work that has taken place over that long of a period of time must be rolled back? It’s unclear whether that’s the case, and it would seem unfair and counterproductive if that is indeed the case. That had appeared to be a very settled issue.”
The judge blocked the Obama administration from funding human embryonic stem cell research. He ruled the support violates a federal law barring the use of taxpayer money for experiments that destroy human embryos.