The article was more of a blog item than the heavily and independently reported news story that is often characteristic of the Times. However, it marked one of the few occasions that the newspaper has attempted an overview of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), as the stem cell agency is formally known.
Mike McPhate did the online article as part of his California Today column, which is provided online subscribers. The article began:
"More than a decade ago, Californians made a $3 billion wager on the healing potential of stem cell research.
"Today, with that money projected to start running out in the next few years, what does the state have to show for it?"
• "More than 750 grants distributed
• "A dozen research facilities constructed
• "Roughly 2,000 scholarly papers published
• "More than 2,400 students and young scientists trained
• "About 30 projects that include clinical trials funded
"Still, the agency has yet to finance a therapy approved for commercial use."