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US stem cell news

6 March 2006
By BioNews
Appeared in BioNews 348

The House of Delegates in the US state of Maryland has passed a bill (HB1) to authorise state funding of human embryonic stem cell (ES cell) research, by 85 votes to 54. The bill was introduced in January by Michael Busch, the speaker of the House, as the Maryland Stem Cell Research Act of 2006 - the first bill of the new legislative session. If passed by the state's Senate, the bill will authorise funds of $25 million a year for five years on research using ES cells, as well as adult stem cells. 'Today's vote is about hope', said State Delegate Samuel Rosenberg, chief sponsor of the bill, adding that there are many who might benefit from the research. However, House Minority Whip Anthony O'Donnell said that the bill provides 'false hope'. Republican opponents of the bill are promising a filibuster when a similar bill reaches the floor of the State Senate next week.

A state Senate committee in Mississippi has defeated a ban on human cloning in the state, which had previously passed the House of Representatives by 108 votes to four in February. The Public Health Committee declined to pass the legislation on for debate before it ran out of time. The bill would have prohibited the use of cloning for research purposes as well as human reproductive cloning. Jack Reed, leader of the pro-ES cell research group People of Faith for Stem Cell Research, said that he was pleased with the outcome. 'I would be ashamed if Mississippi put up a wall banning this research', he added.

Meanwhile, a bill under debate in the State Senate of Georgia, sponsored by Senators Casey Cagle and David Shafer, would criminalise ES cell researchers. It would bring in a 10-year prison term for conducting research experiments on human embryos as well as fines of hundreds of thousands of dollars. At the same time, it would promote adult stem cell research. Critics of the proposed legislation say that it would 'place Georgia squarely among states that have the most restrictive laws concerning stem cell research'. The bill is a counter to a far more moderate proposal, sponsored by Senator David Adelman, which would allow ES cell research to take place on left-over embryos from fertility treatments, while prohibiting their deliberate creation for research. Because both bills cannot be passed, the Georgia Biomedical Partnership has suggested that both should be put on hold, at least while a committee spends a year exploring the scientific and ethical ramifications of stem cell research.

Cloning ban, voter ID among bills killed in Legislature
Sun Herald |  2 March 2006
Md. House Passes Stem Cell Funding Bill
The Washington Post |  3 March 2006
Stem cells turning into hot topic at General Assembly
Gwinnett Daily Post |  5 March 2006
10 April 2006 - by BioNews 
Stem cell researchers in the US are publishing a decreasing proportion of work on human embryonic stem (ES) cells, according to a study undertaken by the Stanford University Centre for Biomedical Ethics. The authors of the study suggest that the decrease in proportion is likely to be due - at least...
27 March 2006 - by BioNews 
The House of Representatives in the US state of Kansas has approved a bill promoting adult and umbilical cord blood stem cell research, while voting against a bill that would have allowed scientists to create chimeras. The members of the House voted 121-4 in favour of the bill that...
13 March 2006 - by BioNews 
The Senate of the US state of Maryland has approved a bill that would establish guidelines for state funding of stem cell research, by 29 votes to 18. However, unlike the bill passed recently by the House of Delegates (HB1), which would authorise $25 million for such work, the Senate...
27 February 2006 - by BioNews 
A US court was today due to begin hearing the opening statements in a pair of lawsuits seeking to have the state of California's stem cell programme overturned. The claimants want to invalidate the law that created the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), which is authorised to distribute $3...
16 January 2006 - by BioNews 
The US state of Maryland could become the next state to publicly fund human embryonic stem (ES) cell research. Researchers in the US are prohibited from using federal funds to do work with any ES cell lines created on or after 9 August 2001, following a declaration by President Bush...
13 October 2003 - by BioNews 
Claims made by the company Clonaid that it had produced five cloned babies in the early part of this year were part of a media hoax, say two Canadian journalists. Working for the Montreal Gazette, the reporters went 'undercover' to infiltrate the Raelians, a sect linked to Clonaid. One of...
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