Saturday, December 10, 2005

NY Times Looks at Beleaguered CIRM

Is the California stem cell agency stuck in an Iraqi-like quagmire? At least one Nobel laureate thinks there are similarities.

His remarks were contained in a piece today by reporter Andrew Pollack of the New York Times, whose article began like this:

"After nearly an entire morning of sometimes heated debate the other day, the board overseeing California's $3 billion stem cell research institute took action. It asked the organization's president to draw up a plan for how to draw up a strategic plan.

"That is the way it has been going lately for the state's closely watched foray into the frontiers of medical science. More than a year after 59 percent of Californians approved an ambitious program to harness human embryonic stem cells to treat diseases, not a single dollar has yet been spent on research."

Pollack noted the litigation, legislative and public pressure as well bureaucratic minutiae beleaguering the agency.

"'I liken it to the Iraq thinking - we won the war and didn't know what to do afterward,' said Paul Berg, a Nobel laureate from Stanford University who fills in on the institute's board when Stanford's medical school dean cannot attend," Pollack wrote.

His piece was something of a "situationer" on CIRM, bringing Times readers up-to-date. The newspaper has not carried much on the agency. Followers of CIRM, however, will find a fair amount of familiar ground in the piece. The article was also distributed on the Times' news service and has already appeared in one other paper in Milwaukee. It is likely be printed elsewhere.

Reporter Terri Somers of the San Diego Union-Tribune also put together a situationer for her paper, one that ran on the front page today. However, it is not available online as far as we can tell. We saw it because we were in San Diego for a visit. We will bring you excerpts from it later. Sphere: Related Content

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