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US stem cell research update

15 August 2005
By BioNews
Appeared in BioNews 321

Last week, proponents of embryonic stem cell (ES cell) research announced the creation of Maryland Families for Stem Cell Research, a non-profit group that aims to raise awareness and money for stem cell research in Maryland.

Due to the federal restrictions on funding for ES cell research, this group is asking the Maryland Governor to allocate $25 million of the state's 2007 fiscal budget to activities related to ES cell research. Earlier this year, state legislation that would have authorised up to $23 million for stem cell research passed the House of Delegates, but then died in a filibuster once it got to the Senate. This time round advocates plan to introduce the bill early, to prevent this from happening again.

Shareese N DeLeaver, a spokeswoman for Governor Robert L Ehrlich Jr, stated that though the governor 'has always been supportive of the concept of stem cell research,' it is too early to make budget decisions committing this funding to stem cell research.

Meanwhile in North Carolina, Representative Earl Jones has sponsored a measure that aims to use $10 million from the state's tobacco establishment to fund stem cell research. Though there is opposition because the funds could be used for research that would involve the destruction of embryos, the bill will last through the 2006 legislative session because it is a funding bill. 'North Carolina could be the leader in the South on stem cell research', Jones told the Greensboro News-Record.

SOURCES & REFERENCES
Advocates press Ehrlich for stem-cell funds
The Washington Times |  10 August 2005
Advocates Push Md. For Help on Stem Cells
The Washington Post |  10 August 2005
North Carolina Lawmaker Wants $10 Million for Stem Cell Research
Lifenews.com |  12 August 2005
Stem cell research advocates form group
The Baltimore Sun |  10 August 2005
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