European ministers yesterday (July 24) reached a compromise to allow EU funding of embryonic stem cell research to continue, so long as it doesn't involve destruction of embryos. The decision avoided an all-out ban on embryonic research that some countries had been pushing for.The agreement by ministers at a European Council meeting in Brussels came just a week after US President Bush vetoed a bill to extend government funding of embryonic research. In large part the deal retains the status quo, meaning that human embryonic stem cell research will still be funded out of EU coffers, but that derivation of the cells cannot be funded by the EU and must be supported by national or other sources of cash. Still, it has left some scientists disappointed. "It appears to be rather irrational," said Robin Lovell-Badge of the UK's National Institute for Medical Research in a statement, referring to the fact...

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