UCSF Resumes Embryonic Stem Cell Research
The University of California-San Francisco has reopened its embryonic stem cell research program, which closed five years ago, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
UCSF's program -- "the only one of its kind on the West Coast" -- seeks to develop "patient specific" stem cell lines to study diseases and create transplants matched to a person's own genes, according to the Chronicle.
Similar studies are being pursued by researchers in San Diego, and the research is "expected to be a key priority" of research funded through Proposition 71, the Chronicle reports. Voters in 2004 approved Proposition 71 to fund stem cell research.
Current research at UCSF is being funded by private donations (Hall, San Francisco Chronicle, 5/6).
Attorney General Bill Lockyer (D) should take litigation involving Proposition 71 "directly to the state Supreme Court" to bring lawsuits "to a quick close" and "quickly free up funds for the research intended when" voters approved the law, an Oakland Tribune editorial states. According to the editorial, "Lives could be at stake" and "other states and nations are or may get ahead of us in stem cell research" if lawsuits "are allowed to drag on" (Oakland Tribune, 5/5).
"The real potential for California stem cell research funding" -- Proposition 71 -- "continues to be held hostage in court by a small group of opponents," according to a San Diego Union-Tribune opinion piece by Eli Broad, founder and chair of KB Home and SunAmerica and founder of the Broad Foundation, and Qualcomm founder Irwin Jacobs. Broad and Jacobs write that "we cannot abide by a 'tyranny of the minority,'" adding, "California should now be able to implement the majority will of the people" because "the majority view in favor of stem cell research is clear, consistent and triumphs over religious and political party affiliations."
Broad and Jacobs were among a group of California philanthropists who purchased bond anticipation notes to support the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine while the lawsuits make their way through the courts (Broad/Jacobs, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5/8).