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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama will soon issue an executive order lifting an eight-year ban embryonic stem cell research imposed by his predecessor, President George W. Bush, a senior adviser said on Sunday.
"We're going to be doing something on that soon, I think. The president is considering that right now," Obama adviser David Axelrod said on "Fox News Sunday."
In 2001, Bush limited federal funding for stem cell research only to human embryonic stem cell lines that already existed. It was a gesture to his conservative Christian supporters who regard embryonic stem cell research as destroying potential life, because the cells must be extracted from human embryos.
Embryonic stem cells are the most basic human cells which can develop into any type of cell in the body.