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Great news: Initial GOP list of proposed cuts mostly spares NIH!

Everyone has been understandably stressed about how the ongoing federal legislative process might effect funding for research including stem cell research. Particularly worrisome was the proposal from the new Republican-controlled House of Representatives to cut $100 billion from the budget. Today brought news (reported at one of my favorite blogs, The Great Beyond) that in …

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Stem cell biotech updates: Geron, ACT, Neuralstem, Pfizer

What’s going on these days with biotech companies working on stem cell-based products? Geron’s and Advanced Cell Technology (ACT)’s FDA-approved trials presumably continue. As expected, no news yet. It’s too soon. Two important questions regarding both these companies are (1) did they apply for CIRM funding and (2) if so, how did the review process …

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The Inside Scoop on iPS cells early in 2011

It’s been more than 4 years since Shinya Yamanaka published the remarkable finding that his lab could transform or “reprogram” regular cells called fibroblasts into a very unique state that was quite similar to that of embryonic stem cells (ESC).  Yamanaka called these new cells “iPS cells” for induced pluripotent stem cells. Since that time, …

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Trends in Stem Cell Research Funding: where do we go from here?

My post yesterday on the problems with the current system of stem cell funding generated a lot of interest from readers– more than a dozen left comments. Many of the comments were insightful even if readers disagreed on certain points. David Jensen also posted on an interesting piece on this issue in response to our …

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Stem cell monopoly: do not pass go, do not collect $200,000

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Great ideas are the foundation of science, but funding makes great ideas become realities and a monopoly on funding hurts science. UPDATE: NIH data backs up our conclusions: overfunding wastes precious resources–give the money to smaller labs. Arguably the key driver of the exciting progress in stem cell research is funding. With the stakes so …

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Science is a national security issue

Reportedly,  House Republicans are proposing a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the rest of FY2011 at 2008 funding levels.  To achieve such an end, the Republicans would have to invoke serious cuts through the federal budget. Not only would such cuts likely damage the U.S. economy, but also they would have major other negative consequences. …

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New Republican Governors Start Attack On Most Promising Stem Cell Research

Last Fall’s mid-term election brought into office several new Republican Governors who during their campaigns used strong, anti-embryonic stem (ES) cell research rhetoric. For example, then candidate for Governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker (now the Governor) used some of the strongest language, which was ironic considering that human ES cells were first produced in Wisconsin …

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Contagious cancer: the allograft your dog doesn’t want

Can one creature directly give another creature cancer? It appears so in dogs and that cancer is highly contagious. When we think about transplants of cells, we think about hospitals and high-tech equipment used to give patients stem cells or other types of cells to help treat them for a disease. Generally cancer patients are …

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A perspective on U.S. embryonic stem cell research from Israel

As we have blogged before, there are a host of different beliefs about embryonic stem cell research and about when life begins. This diversity of perspectives is sprinkled across the globe. Too often in the U.S. people take an ethnocentric view of this question, believing that everyone else should think the same as they do. …

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