U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., told the opening session of the sixth annual World Stem Cell Summit at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center hotel that the upcoming November elections could be crucial in determining the future of stem cell research in the U.S. One reason is a pending federal lawsuit over whether President Barack Obama had the authority to allow expanded funding on embryonic stem cell research. As the suit wends its way through the courts — last week, a federal appeals court allowed U.S. funding to continue as the suit against it, Sherley v. Sibelius, proceeds — some of those running for federal office this fall are campaigning against such spending.

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