President Obama is expected today to announce that he is lifting limits, imposed by President George W. Bush, on federal support for stem cell research. The restrictions have been widely condemned by scientists as hindering research, and as symbolic of the Bush administration's imposition of ideological tests on science policy. The move by President Obama has been expected; during his campaign, he promised such a shift. His campaign document on science said: "Despite recent advances pointing to alternatives like adult stem cell and cord blood, embryonic stem cells remain unmatched in their potential for treatment of a wide variety of diseases and health conditions. Barack Obama has been a long-term supporter of increased stem cell research. He introduced legislation while a member of the Illinois Senate that would allow embryonic stem cell research in Illinois. Obama has cosponsored legislation to allow greater federal government funding on a wider array of stem cell lines. Obama believes we need high ethical standards that allow for research on stem cells derived from embryos produced for in vitro fertilization, embryos that would otherwise be needlessly destroyed."
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