Stem cell divide in midterm elections

Senate elections and Missouri initiative could influence the direction of research

Cathy Tran
Oct 31, 2006
Stem-cell politics has made an appearance as part of the midterm fight for seats in the Senate. Of the five states with "tossup" Senate elections, most have key candidates who differ sharply on the issue of embryonic stem cell research. In some races, candidates' positions on embryonic stem cells are expected to be "pivotal," according to Peter Agre, a Nobel laureate and a founding member of Scientists and Engineers for America, an organization recently formed to promote the understanding of science in the government.Missouri is a case in point. The key Senate battle there is between Democrat Claire McCaskill and Republican incumbent Jim Talent, who are neck-and-neck in the polls. McCaskill supports expanding federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, while Talent opposes research that involves the destruction of human embryos and backed President Bush's veto of legislation to expand that research. The embryonic stem cell...

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