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CA Likely Spared Brunt of Stem Cell Ruling

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Monday’s ruling halting federal funding for human stem cell research will stop some important projects in California, but the Institute for Regenerative Medicine does not believe the impact here will be as great as in other states.

The Institute, or CIRM, funds a lot of research in California, so many projects will be allowed to continue. But Dr. Larry Goldstein at U.C. San Diego says it’s a federal grant that is allowing him to work at finding a cure for Niemann-Pick disease.

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“The purpose of the grant is to make human embryonic stem cells that carry the Niemann-Pick’s genetic defect so that we can use them to make neurons and then test drugs to see if we can find something to help treat these kids,” said Goldstein.

The funding already awarded this fiscal year is allowed, but the injunction halts any further federal money.

“While there are, of course, lots of approaches being tried, this approach that we’re trying with human embryonic stem cells is a huge step forward and it’s going to be stopped in its tracks. I don’t know what to tell these families,” said Goldstein.

The Obama Administration vows to appeal the ruling in the next few days.

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