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UC seeks to intervene in court battle over stem cell research

September 20, 2010 |  7:20 pm

The University of California has entered the legal battle surrounding the use of human embryonic stem cells in research, filing a motion formally seeking to intervene in the case, officials announced Monday.

UC is trying to become the nation’s first research university to become a party in the high-profile case challenging federal funding for the research. UC, which wants to defend the research, is the largest recipient of National Institutes of Health funding and conducts significant lab work in those areas.

Last month, a federal judge blocked the federal government from funding embryonic stem cell research, saying it violated a law intended to prevent the destruction of human embryos. An appeals court this month temporarily lifted the preliminary injunction, although uncertainty remains, with the matter expected to go to trial.

In a federal court motion, UC said its "interests are significant and significantly affected" by the preliminary injunction and said the university, its students and scientists would lose many fellowships if the ban is upheld.

It also stressed the potential loss of research to help treat heart, lung and blood diseases, along with "other genetic disorders too numerous to list."

-- Larry Gordon