Presidential candidate Mitt RomneyFLICKR, GAGE SKIDMORE

Almost all of the Republican candidates for the 2012 presidential term would restrict federal funding for human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), which many scientists worry could hinder scientific advances in the field.

In 2001, Bush barred the National Institutes of Health from funding hESC research on all but 22 existing cell lines. In 2009, Obama overturned Bush’s law by executive order, allowing new hESC lines to apply for federal funding eligibility. Currently, there are 128 approved hESC lines for federal funding, and over the last two years, the NIH has provided more than $300 million to support research using those lines.

Of seven Republican candidates, all said they would  not support expanding funding for new cell lines, and only John Huntsman and Newt Gingrich responded to a Boston Globe survey saying that they would allow the NIH to continue funding research for currently...

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