At the National Institutes of Health, officials have started drafting guidelines they will need to start funding human embryonic stem cell research that has been off-limits for nearly eight years.
At the University of California at San Francisco, scientists are poised to dismantle the cumbersome bureaucracy they created to segregate experiments that were acceptable under the federal restrictions from studies that were not.
At the Harvard Stem Cell Institute in Cambridge, Mass., graduate students and other scientists paid with federal grants are eagerly awaiting the day when they can contribute their eureka moments to projects that are forbidden under the current policy.
But in the month since Inauguration Day, the moment they have been awaiting has not come, prompting some to ask: When will President Obama deliver on his campaign promise to lift one of the most contentious policies imposed by his predecessor?
“Everyone is waiting with bated breath,” said George Daley, a leading stem cell scientist at Children’s Hospital in Boston. “We’re all waiting to breathe a huge sigh of relief.”