Massachusetts Proposes hESC Funding



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Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick unveiled plans, today, for a $1 billion investment in biotechnology and stem cell research, directly attempting to challenge California as the place to be for stem cell research. Like California, Patrick’s plan is a 10-year plan that will fund, among other things, a stem cell bank and the nation’s first centralized repository of new public and private stem cell lines, which will be overseen by the University of Massachusetts. It will be the world’s largest of its kind (according to Patrick’s office, anyhow), with Harvard, MIT, Massachusetts General and other hospitals contributing their lines.

Massachusetts might actually be able to give California a run for its money (or talent) here; in addition to being able to learn from CIRM’s mistakes, Massachusetts has over 500 life science companies, several major universities, two dozen teaching hospitals, and four medical schools. This is just one of a list of things Patrick has done to undo Republican presidential hopeful and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney’s time in office; Patrick’s proposal requires legislative approval that he is very likely to get. In 2005, both the Senate and House supported a bill to encourage stem cell research that Romney promptly killed.

And continuing to deviate from party line, California Governor Schwarzenegger says he welcomes the competition; the more research being done, the better.

-Kelly Hills

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