Robert Klein, who was the first chairman of the state stem cell agency, said that "California has unique opportunity and obligation to maintain the scientific and medical options" that have led to development of the polio vaccine along with many others.
During an interview with the California Stem Cell Report, Klein said the people of California have a "moral" obligation to add more billions to the work of the 14-year-old, $3 billion stem cell agency.
Klein led the 2004 ballot initiative campaign that created the agency, formally known as the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). The agency expects to run out of cash for new awards by the end of this year. It is staking its existence on a proposed ballot initiative that Klein would carry forward.
Klein's comments came as more reaction surfaced to the Trump action. San Francisco HIV advocate Jeff Sheehy, responding to a question, said in an email,
"Fetal tissue is used to make mice with human immune systems. Testing new drugs for HIV is just one use--this animal model is used in research across a wide range of diseases to develop and test therapies, including vaccines for infectious diseases. Stopping this research--which has been taking place for decades--is foolish, anti-science, and a threat to the health and safety of all Americans."Kaiser Health News reported,
"The Trump administration’s announcement Wednesday about federal cutbacks in fetal tissue research is short of a total ban, but scientists in the field say it is concerning because it could affect work on treatments or preventions for key diseases, such as HIV and Parkinson’s."Sara Reardon, reporting online for Nature, wrote,
"'It’s a decision that’s going to set back research,' says Andrew McMahon, a stem cell biologist at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
"McMahon is studying ways to grow kidneys from human stem cells. He says that the only way to determine whether he and his colleagues have successfully mimicked natural development is to compare their proto-organs to kidneys in fetal tissue. Although biomedical research is often done using mice as proxies for people, mouse kidneys are too different from human kidneys to use in McMahon’s work."
"Our analysis of the developing human kidney has provided the first comprehensive insight into developmental processes highlighting molecular and cellular events shared with the well-studied mouse model, but unique human features."