NY stem cells get green light

The New York State legislature completed its budget yesterday, including a $600 million appropriation to fund stem cell research. For 2007, the state will provide the first $100 million, and the remainder of the money will come out of the Health Insurance Plan (HIP) of New York, with a $50-million-a-year cap not exceeding $500 million. However, it is unclear when the HIP funds will become available. As reported in The Scientist, a few linkurl:versions;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display

By | April 2, 2007

The New York State legislature completed its budget yesterday, including a $600 million appropriation to fund stem cell research. For 2007, the state will provide the first $100 million, and the remainder of the money will come out of the Health Insurance Plan (HIP) of New York, with a $50-million-a-year cap not exceeding $500 million. However, it is unclear when the HIP funds will become available. As reported in The Scientist, a few linkurl:versions;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/52995/ of the budget were proposed by each of the three branches of the legislature -- the State Senate, Assembly, and Governor's office. Governor Eliot Spitzer announced his plan to fund stem cell and other biomedical research in January. The agreed-upon budget sets a broad definition for stem cells -- adopted primarily from the State Assembly's version of the budget -- as "stem or progenitor cells that divide and are capable of generating one or more different types of progeny." This includes human embryonic stem cells and umbilical cord cells in addition to adult stem cells. While the bill excludes funding for stem cell research for human reproductive cloning, it makes no direct stipulation against funding for somatic cell nuclear transfer. The bill also includes appropriation for a stem cell funding committee and ethics committee. The funding committee will establish funding guidelines based on a merit-based, peer-reviewed system and select a scientific peer review committee of people with biomedical expertise to choose which research projects receive funding. No project will receive more than 15% of the funding available for that year. Governor Eliot Spitzer may choose to allocate more funds to stem cell research on a year-to-year basis, but that stipulation is not included in the bill.

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