California OKs Stem Cell Research Funds

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This is more like it! From the San Francisco Chronicle

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Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger authorized $150 million in loans to the state’s stem cell agency one day after President Bush vetoed legislation that would have expanded federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.

The governor’s action Thursday quadruples the amount of money available in the state to begin research on stem cells, which scientists believe hold extraordinary promise to cure diseases. It also carries political benefits for Schwarzenegger, who has distanced himself from the deeply unpopular Republican president.

“With one stroke, the governor has energized stem cell research in California,” said the president of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine “This is the new frontier in biomedical research, and the United States needs to be working in it. California will become a surrogate for the nation’s efforts.” And the governor himself said: “We can no longer wait to fund this important research.” Good for him.

PLUS: Though Bush’s veto will hold back a lot of important work in the field, Forbes reminds that “Stem cell research is alive and well at a host of small companies and academic laboratories in the United States.”

PLUS PLUS:“Illinois’s governor announced yesterday he was diverting $5 million from the state budget for stem cell research, despite repeated objections from state legislators.” (AP)

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