Friday, January 04, 2008

Stem Cell Snippets: Toes, Public Support and Looking Forward

WSJ on Stem Cells – Columnist Robert Lee Hotz wrote today in the Wall Street Journal about non-federal stem cell research efforts and reprogramming of stem cells. He quoted Richard Murphy(see photo), interim president of CIRM, as saying that research on human embryonic stem cells must continue. "We need to sort out the realities," Murphy said. The piece also contained a forward-looking number that is increasingly turning up in articles involving CIRM. That is the figure of $519 million, which is what CIRM expects to have approved for stem cell research by the middle of this year.

Bad Poll Numbers
– "Strong support" is declining for human embryonic stem cell research, according to a recent poll by the Virginia Commonwealth University. The survey was taken following the latest news on reprogramming of adult stem cells. According to a piece by A.J. Hostetler of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, "strong support" peaked in 2005 at 27 percent and has now fallen to 21 percent. Overall support remains at 54 percent. It is the first national poll taken on stem cell research since the announcement of the reprogramming studies in November.

Murphy's Toe?
– Reporter Ron Leuty of the San Francisco Business Times put together a bit of an overview of CIRM recently. The main focus was on the conflict of interest problems at the agency. He quoted Richard Murphy as saying, "We stubbed our toe. We all didn't realize we had a problem here." Michael Fitzhugh of the East Bay Business Times also looked at the impact of CIRM activities on companies in the eastern area of the San Francisco Bay region. If you have difficulty obtaining full copies of the articles, please send a request to, and we will send them to you.

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