The US Justice Department said Tuesday it will appeal as early as this week a judge's decision to block federal funding for stemcell research.
"I can confirm we plan to appeal," said Tracy Schmaller, a Justice Department spokesperson, adding that the department was "likely to file this week."
She said it would seek a stay of US District Judge Royce Lambert's temporary suspension of federal funding for stemcell research while his injunction was being appealed.
President Barack Obama authorized the renewal of federal funding in March 2009, reversing a ban imposed by his predecesor in 2001 on moral and religious grounds.
Researchers believe that stem cell research holds promise for developing new treatments for a range of diseases like diabetes, Alzheimers or Parkinsons.
Explore further: US court halts government funding of stem cell research (Update)