OCESAAOmnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act (US)
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Rabb responded on January 15, 1999, that federal law permits the NIH to support such research, basing her opinion on a somewhat strained interpretation of OCESAA.
As with similar bills passed since 1995, OCESAA included an appropriations rider banning the use of federal funds to pay for "research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death greater than that allowed for research on fetuses in utero.
Barely two weeks after OCESAA became law, James Thomson at the University of Wisconsin and John Gearhart at Johns Hopkins University announced success in culturing human stem cells, a step that NIH Director Harold Varmus has said opens new frontiers in basic study of human development and genetic diseases, in drug and toxicity testing, and in transplantation therapy, with the prospect of creating cells to treat genetic conditions and tissues to mend damaged hearts, brains, and other organs without triggering cellular rejection.