The stem cell research institute created by California voters in 2004 approved this month what its leaders call the strongest conflict of interest rules of any U.S. medical research organization. But some voices are calling for one further step: Make public the disclosure statements signed by grant application reviewers."We think we have a very strong system to stand behind and think it would not be strengthened by having public disclosure," said Zach Hall, president of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), which provides state funding for the research. The rules "go beyond the rules of other state agencies in California and in fact they go beyond the national standards," he told The Scientist.The institute has $3 billion dollars provided by voter-approved bonds to dole out to academic and industry researchers within the state, although legal disputes have prevented CIRM from distributing the funds. Once the money becomes available,...

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