In a strong show of bipartisan support, Australian Parliamentarians have backed a bill regulating embryonic stem cell research 99 votes to 33. The bill, passed in the House of Representatives September 25, now moves to the Senate where it is expected to receive a far bumpier ride.
"We are pleased to see this phase brought to a close, and we remain cautiously optimistic it will pass the Senate," said Martin Pera, a cell biologist at Monash University's Monash Institute of Reproduction and Development (MIRD) and Chief Science Officer of Australia's new national Centre for Stem Cells and Tissue Repair, headquartered in Melbourne.
Even before the legislation was given thumbs up in the House, Senators had sent it to committee for review. After five sitting days, the committee today heard final witnesses and is expected to report October 24.
Among the witnesses was Australia's leading stem cell researcher Alan...