This recent announcement gives me hope that the scientific community can advance medical research without the political and ethical roadblocks. Scientists are right to alert us that while these medical treatments are not immediately available, the potential to transform adult cells into embryo-like ones is real, and progress is moving steadily in this area.  While the ultimate potential remains unclear, I strongly support the development of all ethical forms of medical research to help scientists understand and treat diseases.

Access to federal funding can enable American scientists to lead the world in medical breakthroughs in this area, as we do in so many other fields of research.  My passion for advancing and expanding the federal support for research on stem cells comes from years of meeting with those who suffer from diseases, such as diabetes and Alzheimers, and the family and friends who care about them.

My judgment is that embryonic stem cell research will move forward with a new president, but if this new potential can trigger increased federal support, then this is great news.  This announcement is a very significant step and one that I hope can overcome the ethical debate over the development and use of embryonic stem cells, while advancing medical research for millions of people who suffer.