Thursday, January 31, 2008

'California Has Changed Everything'

Christine Vestal at Stateline.org has prepared an excellent and timely overview of funding for human embryonic stem cell research, which was obviously in the works prior to the president's speech earlier this week.

California receives a fair amount of attention, but she provides a good update on efforts in other states and at the national level as well.

Here is an excerpt dealing with the Golden State:
"'California changed everything,' said Bernard Siegel, founder of the Genetics Policy Institute, a non-profit stem cell advocacy group. 'No state wanted to see their best scientists pick up and move to California,' he said. As Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) predicted when California voters approved their landmark 2004 ballot measure authorizing the stem-cell investment, the message has gone out to 'the world’s scientific elite and aspiring students that, in California, you will find the resources and the freedom to expand the frontiers of science.'

"Now that grant money is flowing, the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) reports it has wooed more than two dozen of the world’s top stem-cell scientists, including Japanese scientist Shinya Yamanaka, who lead the most recent skin-cell discoveries at the University of Kyoto. Yamanaka accepted a state grant in August 2007 and began working part-time in San Francisco to avoid stem-cell restrictions in Japan."
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