Obama lifts ban on embryonic stem cell research

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is ending Bush-era limits on using federal dollars for embryonic stem cell research.

Obama was signing an executive order Monday, with scientists at his side. He said "medical miracles do not happen simply by accident."

Former President George W. Bush had limited taxpayer money for embryonic stem cell research to a small number of stem cell lines that were created before Aug. 9, 2001. Some Republicans and many conservatives argued that the research on embryos destroys human lives.

But proponents of lifting the restrictions - including former first lady Nancy Reagan - said the research could lead to better treatment and possible cures to various diseases, from diabetes to paralysis.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.