Research with human Embryonic Stem Cells (hESCs) faces challenges not only in labs but also in courts. During the summer of 2010, a US federal court barred the NIH from distributing money to fund research with hESCs. The case, Sherley v. Sebelius, revolved around the claim that the Dickey-Wicker Amendment, which prohibits using of federal fund for research with embryos, forbids funding research with hESCs. On April 29, 2011, the Court of Appeal for the District of Columbia vacated the stay concluding that “it is entirely reasonable for the NIH to understand Dickey-Wicker as permitting funding for research using cell lines derived without federal funding, even as it bars funding for the derivation of additional lines.” As the case goes back to the district judge for further litigation on the merits, the NIH can now go back to fund research with hESCs.

(Read a press release by Reuters)