WASHINGTON, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday appealed a district judge's ruling to ban federal funding of embryonic stem cell in the U.S. District Court in Washington.
The department wanted Judge Royce Lamberth to lift the injunction he imposed last week, saying the injunction was harming current federally funded human embryonic stem cell research and could force a halt to all research that is subject to government funding.
"Numerous ongoing projects will likely not survive even a temporary gap in funds, jeopardizing both the potential benefit of the research and the hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer funds already invested in it," the department said in its request.
Lamberth issued a temporary injunction to federal funding of embryonic stem cell on Aug. 23, saying it involved the destruction of human embryos. The injunction was a blow to the Obama administration, which approved federal funds for expanded embryonic stem cell research on March 9, 2009.
Embryonic stem cells are cells contained in embryos that have the ability to transform themselves into virtually any other type of cell in the body. Scientists believe that embryonic stem cell research could eventually produce cures for a variety of diseases, including Parkinson's disease, diabetes, heart disease and spinal cord injuries.
However, for some people, the destruction of any embryo is tantamount to murdering a human being. Some religious and political figures hold this view.
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