It is currently legal for the federal government in the U.S. to fund human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research.
However, that funding is in serious jeopardy. Someone today described it to me as “hanging by a thread”.
A 3-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court is currently holding arguments on whether such funding should be legal or not. Science has a nice article summarizing the keep points of background and how the current arguments are proceeding.
Can we read the tea leaves?
There is concern amongst some that this 3-judge panel, which is by luck of the draw highly conservative, will rule against NIH funding of hESC research later this year once again throwing the field into chaos. However, others say it is far more likely that the judges will rule that the funding is legal.
I am still scratching my head trying to determine what I think is the most likely outcome.
What’s your prediction?
Take our poll above and let us know your thinking in the comments section. Please vote how you predict the judges will rule, not how you believe they should rule.