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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
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,...
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...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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Final OK for California Stem Cell Institute
17 May 2007 (All day)
Two-and-a-half years after California's Proposition 71 authorized public funding for stem cell research, the state's Supreme Court has removed the final obstacle to issuing $3 billion in bonds. Yesterday, the court turned down an appeal by citizens' groups that argued that the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) lacked sufficient state oversight and was rife with conflicts of interest. At a press conference following the ruling, real estate financier Robert Klein, the chief author of the initiative, exulted that CIRM "has lift-off today. ... The future for the next decade is assured for California and for medical research on the stem cell frontier."
Since its inception, CIRM has sought to create a system from the ground up for funding research on human embryonic stem cells to fill in the gaps left by federal funding restrictions (ScienceNOW, 12 April). It has established mechanisms covering a host of complicated issues, including conflict-of-interest policies for its task forces and review committees and intellectual property policies. And from the get-go, CIRM has also been dogged by lawsuits and by criticisms from legislators and consumer advocates. Things have not always gone smoothly within the organization either. In April, CIRM's president, Zach Hall, resigned more than a month before his planned June departure following a contentious meeting over a new $222 million facilities grant program (Science, 27 April, p. 526).
The agency, however, has so far approved close to $160 million in research grants, thanks to a $150 million loan from the state and $45 million generated by Klein from the sale of "bond anticipation notes."
Klein said yesterday that CIRM will waste no time in moving on, with the first $250 million in bonds to be issued in July or August. Meanwhile plaintiffs' lawyer Dana Cody says "for the purposes of our clients, the litigation is over." But, she adds, "California is wasting $3 billion" on research that has yet to produce any cures.