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Boston – July 19, 2007, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick filed legislation Thursday that would put $1 billion (euro720 million) over the next 10 years into life science research, including creating what he called the world’s largest repository of new stem cell lines.
The plan, which Patrick announced in May, would make Massachusetts a global leader in the emerging industry and challenge California as the hub of stem cell research in the United States.
The bill includes $500 million (euro362 million) in capital funds to create a Massachusetts Stem Cell Bank and a research center at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
“The whole world wants what we got. This is no time to rest on our laurels,” Patrick said, referring to the state’s research.
California voters in 2004 approved America’s most ambitious stem cell research center. The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine is authorized to dole out $3 billion (euro2 billion) in research grants over 10 years.
Stem cell research aims to use stem cells, which are created in the first days after conception and can develop into all the organs and tissues in the body, to replace diseased tissue in hopes of treating a variety of diseases, from Alzheimer’s to diabetes.
But many social conservatives, including President George W. Bush, oppose the work because embryos are destroyed in the process. The microscopic embryos are usually donated by fertility clinics.
The Bush administration has limited federal funding to about $25 million (euro18 million) annually.
Four other states – Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey and Illinois – also have skirted federal restrictions with stem cell research funding plans of their own.
Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Associated Press

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