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Court ruling a 'devastating blow' for European scientists

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Court ruling a 'devastating blow' for European scientists

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The European court of justice has banned patenting any stem-cell process that involves destroying a human embryo.

Some scientists have described this as a devastating blow, to medical research, and say the ruling by Europe’s top court, will severely hamper an emerging field of medical research that could provide 21st century medicines for diseases from Parkinson’s to blindness.

Critics argue the use of embryonic stem cells is wrong because the use of them involves the destruction of the embryos.

The ruling concerned an invention by German researcher, Oliver Bruestle of the University of Bonn, for converting human embryonic stem cells into nerve cells.

Scientists say they are now in a ridiculous position as it means European researchers can break new ground and discover new solutions, but others will reap the benefits in the US or Asia.