Sunday, February 11, 2007

Stem Cell Snippets: Court Appeals, Cheerleading,UC Davis Plans, Pera and Kuehl

Stem Cell Lawsuit Appeal – The time has changed on the oral arguments on Feb. 14 in the appeal of the verdict in the CIRM lawsuit trial. It is now set for 2 p.m.

World's Oldest Cheerleader? – Relentless patient advocate Don Reed says next Friday (when CIRM makes its first research grants) is an "unbreakable date" in San Francisco (actually Burlingame, which is near the airport). In his effort to generate favorable news coverage, he wrote a piece on "StemBlog," which is part of the Stem Cell Action Network. Reed said this about the expected grant announcements, "Worst Scenario: the opposition shows up in full force, which they will– and in support? Old white-haired Don is there by himself, the world’s oldest cheerleader. Best Scenario: a ton of people smiling, including some friends driving wheelchairs, joined in the celebration of a truly historic day, when in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, a great state led a great nation into a new age."

Losing the Stem Cell Race – The Washington Post and the Sacramento Bee carried an op-ed piece that suggested state efforts to pump up stem cell research are not enough. According to Joseph Fuller and Brock Reeve, the reasons include: "The entry of individual states into the breach left by the federal government has helped drive research activity. But it has also created a patchwork of regulations and funding levels that constrains research collaboration. Expensive and restrictive enabling patents, political controversy and the absence of federal research money, coupled with a long time to market, have made venture capitalists reluctant to invest. In 2005, just over $100 million in venture capital went to stem cell ventures, compared with $500 million in biotech ventures at an equivalent stage."

UC Davis Stem Cell Plans – The campus newspaper at UC Davis has a rundown on $75 million in stem cell research building plans on the campus. Written by Allie Shilin, the piece says: "The newest addition to the center is a 5,160-square-foot Good Manufacturing Practice laboratory to be housed in a 100,000-square-foot renovated portion of the UC Davis Medical Center on Stockton Boulevard in Sacramento."

Reijo Pera – The co-director of the UC San Francisco ESC research center is leaving to join Stanford as director of "human embryonic stem cell research and education for the Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine."

Kuehl's CIRM Legislation Jesse Reynolds of the Center for Genetics and Society is "encouraged" by State Sen. Sheila Kuehl's proposal to make changes at the California stem cell agency. He writes on Biopolitical Times that her ideas are worthy of support.

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