Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Stem Cell Snippets: Brits, Maryland and Defining the Debate

Links to interesting stories and other items connected to California stem cell issues.

Blair Hobnobs – The visit of Great Britain's PM to California highlighted linkages with the state's stem cell community. Participants in the meetings included Zach Hall, president of CIRM. Brits say they are spending $186 million for stem cell research in the next two years, substantially less than what California is supposed to be doing. It is not clear whether the British funding is for ESC research only or all stem cell research. The stories do not mention that the British consulate in SF has a man assigned to tracking developments at CIRM. You can find the San Francisco Chronicle story here and the San Jose Mercury News story here.

Chirping from Chesapeake – From Maryland comes word that it intends to outstrip California in giving grants for stem cell research, despite having only $15 million to play with. Linda Powers, biotech venture capitalist(Toucan Capital) and chair of the Maryland stem cell commission, stated that goal in a piece in the Washington Business Journal.

Classifying Stem Cell News – What type of news is a report about a stem cell matter – science, medicine, business, politics, governmental? Kaiser Permanente, the mammoth healthcare enterprise, says it is women's health news. That's where they put a summary of stem cell related opinion pieces. Not important, you say. Perhaps to some. But if stem cell research is, for example, considered mainly religious news, a reader might come to a different conclusion than if he or she thought it was a health subject. Defining the debate is still critical to building support for embryonic stem cell research. As for Kaiser's classification, it is entirely appropriate to describe stem cell news as a women's issue, but it is obviously more as well.

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