Although Virginia has prohibited research on specific types of stem cells, the commonwealth has encouraged some forms of stem cell research by establishing targeted funding for such research at the state level. This mixed approach had led the Hinxton Group—an informal collection of researchers and others interested in stem cell policies and ethics from around the world—to categorize Virginia among those states espousing policies of “permissive compromise.” Within these legislative parameters, Virginia’s respected universities, particularly the University of Virginia, have conducted important research in recent years.

In addition to prohibiting human cloning itself, a process the law defines as any attempt—presumably whether or not successful—to produce a human being by transferring a nucleus from any human cell into an egg or ovum that has had its ...

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