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King's College London - Health: More than a medical matter





US stem cell news

18 April 2005

By BioNews

Appeared in BioNews 304

The legislature of Washington state has rejected a bill that would have encouraged human embryonic stem cell (ES cell) research. The bill would have banned human reproductive cloning but would have allowed the cloning of embryos  for ES cell research purposes, sometimes known as therapeutic cloning. The state's Senate voted 26-23 against the proposals, with only one Republican, Senate minority leader Bill Finkbeiner, voting in favour. Before the vote, state Democrats believed they had enough support to secure the bill's passage, but several Senators seemed to have changed their minds after the debate.

In Maryland, state Senators finished their latest session without giving final approval to their bill on ES cell research. The House of Representatives had already passed a version of the bill earlier this year, but the Senate version was filibustered - or talked out of time. Under Senate rules, a three-fifths majority vote is needed to end debate on any issue and send it for vote - if this isn't reached then opponents can literally 'talk a bill to death'. The bill would have provided, from 2007, $23 million per year for ES cell research, under new state guidelines.

In Missouri, because of divisions in the Republican Party, a bill that would have banned all forms of human cloning has also died. Senator Matt Bartle, the sponsor of the bill, has decided to 'pull' it after encountering opposition from within his own party. 'It has become pretty obvious to me that there is more than enough political will to kill the bill', he said.

Meanwhile, in Connecticut, the Judiciary Committee of the General Assembly has approved two bills that would provide $20 million in state funding for ES cell research, while banning reproductive cloning and trade in embryos. Both bills now pass to the Joint Appropriations Committee, and are expected to be melded into a single bill before presentation to the full state House of Representatives and Senate.

In New Jersey, the acting Governor Richard Codey has announced the establishment of a new ethics panel to oversee the state's ES cell research projects. Harold Shapiro, President Emeritus of Princeton University, will lead the panel. Codey allocated $150 million of state funds to the construction of a dedicated ES cell research centre and also intends to raise $230 million for research through bonds, in a similar way to California.

 

SOURCES & REFERENCES
The Seattle Times | 12 April 2005
 
Shapiro to head stem cell panel
Daily Princetonian | 18 April 2005
 
Stem-cell bill dies in Senate
Baltimore Sun | 12 April 2005
 

RELATED ARTICLES FROM THE BIONEWS ARCHIVE

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British researchers have established a new method of creating stem cells from naturally arrested, or 'dead', IVF embryos. In the journal Stem Cells, the scientists from Newcastle University demonstrated that they used five IVF embryos, that had arrested six to seven days after conception, to create embryonic... [Read More]
16 January 2006 - by BioNews 
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The state legislature of Massachusetts, US, has overruled a veto of legislation on human embryonic stem (ES) cell research. The legislation, which was sponsored by Senate President Robert Travaglini, allows embryos to be cloned for medical research purposes, but prohibits human reproductive cloning. The Massachusetts House of Representatives passed the... [Read More]

12 January 2005 - by BioNews 
The acting governor of the state of New Jersey has said that he plans to spend $380 million on embryonic stem (ES) cell research. Richard Codey told the state Assembly that New Jersey needs to stay in the forefront of the science in this politically sensitive field. Of the total... [Read More]

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