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Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
- About Us
Donor Votes With His Dollars
31 August 2001 7:00 pm
In a protest against government limits on embryonic stem cell work, billionaire and high-tech entrepreneur Jim Clark announced today that he would withhold $60 million of a $150 million gift pledged to Stanford University for biomedical research. Stanford representatives said they were saddened, but that construction on the James H. Clark Center for Biomedical Engineering and Sciences would continue, as would the creation of the interdisciplinary Bio-X program, set to be housed in the new building.
In an opinion piece in today's issue of The New York Times, Clark announced that he would suspend his donation "pending the outcome of ongoing political deliberations." The U.S. House of Representatives voted last month to ban all forms of nuclear transfer with human cells, which would shut the door to so-called nonreproductive cloning (ScienceNOW, 1 August). The Senate has not yet taken up the measure, but President George W. Bush has said he opposes all such research. In addition, Bush has limited federal funding for research on embryonic stem cells to 64 cell lines in existence on 9 August (ScienceNOW, 10 August).
Clark, the founder of Silicon Graphics, Netscape, and WebMD, wrote in his commentary that work with human embryonic stem cells as well as the use of nuclear transfer technology to make genetically matched stem cell lines "is vital to the future of medicine." He added that undue restrictions on such research "will cause the United States to miss a revolution in biology," and he had reluctantly decided to suspend further contributions "until our lawmakers decide to pursue what I believe to be a rational course in this vital part of our national future."
Most researchers at Bio-X share Clark's opinion, but the suspension will have a big impact on their work, says biochemist and program director James Spudich. The $90 million already donated will pay for the building, but new money will have to be raised to get the research under way. Although he's careful not to criticize Clark's decision, "we'll have to scramble for the next few years" to make up for the lost funds, Spudich says.