Missouri Stem Cell Debate Could Be Preview of Action in Other States
A "fierce" debate in Missouri over stem cell research could have "broad implications" for the future of science and politics, regardless of whether research money is supplied by private contributions as in Missouri, or by public funds, as is the case in California, the Washington Post reports.
The Stowers Institute for Medical Research in Kansas City, Mo., has built a $300 million laboratory and is conducting research on adult stem cells. However, researchers and officials at Stowers have said that an ongoing attempt in the state Legislature to make such research illegal has made researchers unwilling to relocate to Kansas City and put on hold planning for a 600,000 square-foot expansion of the institute.
State Sen. Matt Bartle (R) has led the campaign to oppose embryonic stem cell research, but the move has been met with the creation of an "impromptu statewide alliance of business leaders, liberal science advocates and antiabortion Republicans" who favor stem cell research, the Post reports.
In addition to California, states including Maryland, Illinois and New Jersey have allocated public funds to stem cell research (Slevin, Washington Post, 8/10).