Few surprises popped up in the papers today. But reporter Rob Waters of Bloomberg.com highlighted the Korean connections of one Los Angeles-based recipient. Waters wrote:
"CHA RMI was awarded a grant of $2.6 million. Along with its sister organization, CHA Stem Cell Institute in Seoul, it's a non-profit unit of CHA Biotech(of Seoul). The Los Angeles unit proposes to use its grant to create stem cell lines using a process known as therapeutic cloning, or somatic cell nuclear transfer.Prop. 71 limits grants to institutions located in California, which CHA RMI appears to be. We are attempting to track down a more detailed definition of the limitation and will post it when it becomes available.
"The CHA RMI researchers will attempt to create cloned human embryos with the cellular attributes of Lou Gehrig's disease, an incurable neurological disorder. They will try to do this by combining human egg cells whose nucleus has been removed with DNA provided by adults with the disease. The scientists will then isolate and extract stem cells from the embryos.
"'We feel a great responsibility for this project and we will pursue our research with utmost efforts,' Chung Hyung Min, a professor and the director of the project at CHA Stem Cell Institute, said in a telephone interview from Seoul. "It won't be an easy project, but we're striving so that our efforts can contribute to curing Lou Gehrig's disease and many other diseases such as Parkinson's disease."
"CHA Biotech is a for-profit entity set up to coordinate the work of academic researchers and hospital physicians centered on stem cell, gene therapy and regenerative medicine technology, according to its Web site. It's part of CHA Health Systems, also called the CHA Medical Group, which owns or is affiliated with several universities, hospitals and research institutes in Korea and the U.S."
Most reporters focused on the dollars in the grants. But Jim Downing of The Sacramento Bee zeroed in on the researchers and their goals. The first two paragraphs of his story read:
"Mark Zern is trying to figure out how to grow adult human livers, more or less from scratch.Here are links to other stories and press releases issued by recipient institutions. We will carry links to other news releases from recipients as they come to our attention.
"Alice Tarantal hopes to find a way to regenerate failed kidneys."
Steve Johnson, San Jose Mercury News
Carl Hall, San Francisco Chronicle
Reporter Terri Somers, San Diego Union-Tribune
Mary Engel, Los Angeles Times
Gary Robbins, Orange Country Register
People's Daily Online
UC San Diego
UC San Francisco
Stanford Sphere: Related Content