Seven US Republican senators and 70 members of the House Pro-Life Caucus group in the US Congress protested against the February ruling by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS; Washington, DC) that federal financing of human embryonic stem cell research is permissible under current law. The HHS, which has not responded to the latest protests, produced its ruling after numerous sessions of Congress were held from December 1998 to February 1999. At these, scientists from the National Institutes of Health (Bethesda, MD), biotechnology companies such as Geron (Menlo Park, CA) and Advanced Cell Therapies (Worcester, MA), and medical ethicists testified as to the potential benefits of stem cell research (Nat. Biotechnol. 17, 139, 1999). HHS ruled that human embryonic stem cell research is legal, but it stipulated that issues surrounding the creation and manipulation of stem cells be resolved before federal funding is released.