Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Stem Cell Research in a Judge's Hands 148

deman1985 wrote to mention a San Francisco Chronicle article discussing the future of stem cell research in California. The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine has had a suit filed against it for doling out money to stem cell research groups, and the future of the organization is now in the hands of the Judge on the case. From the article: "The taxpayers groups said that at least five members of the 29-member board have conflicts because they are University of California officials and the school's various campuses have already applied for stem cell grants. Others on the board are biotechnology executives and investors whose investments could benefit from stem cell grants."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Stem Cell Research in a Judge's Hands

Comments Filter:
  • by mrpeebles ( 853978 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:36PM (#14846049)
    I don't remember exactly what the numbers were, but as I recall this proposition passed in CA by a large margin. Even if it has to be passed again, I think it will be. This will be at most a temporary setback.
  • ...masturbation jokes.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    C'mon editors. Are you guys just trying to drive this site into the ground? Every day, this place has been less news for nerds, and more politics for left-wing idiots.

    This is really an arm of SlashKos now. Politics stories practically every day fill up the front page, and hardly any of them are really about real politics.

    I remember once CmdrTaco said that this place wasn't about politics, but that exactly has happened. I guess pagehits and flamewars are easier than real news for geeks.
  • Gee whiz (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:38PM (#14846064)
    "Others on the board are biotechnology executives and investors whose investments could benefit from stem cell grants."

    Meanwhile, the people who will benefit the most from stem cell research must continue to suffer disabilities while governments and special interest groups keep beating each other with their dicks!

    • governments and special interest groups keep beating each other with their dicks!

      Yeah I never understood the whole cock fight thing either but governments will be governments and special interest groups will be special interest groups...

    • The government has nothing to do with this. Whoever moderated this as Interesting needs a clue.

      The article itself states that the institute is being sued by taxpayer's groups who object to things like the closed-doors meetings to determine grant eligibility, which was in the bill the voters *PASSED*.

      Because of this lawsuit, the institute cannot issue bonds to raise money to fund stem-cell research projects, since no financial institution will touch them until litigation is resolved.

      Now that I summarized th
      • Re:Gee whiz (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Penguinshit ( 591885 )

        Please don't tell me you're so naive as to believe this taxpayers' group nonsense.
        • Please don't tell me you're so naive as to not recognize the validity of their lawsuits.

          Or you prefer that they spend tax dollars with no oversight or disclosure to anyone?
          Let me use this example, maybe it'll make things clearer.

          Replace the following terms in the article as needed:

          California Institute for Regenerative Medicine - change to Giant Oil Corporation Consortium
          stem cel - change to oil
          University of California - change to Exxon/BP/Texaco, whoever
          biotechnology - oil drilling research

          Lemme guess, now
          • if it was 100 years ago, and the president refused to allow federal funds to be used for research, then I would be all for it.
    • Re:Gee whiz (Score:2, Funny)

      by Bemopolis ( 698691 )
      This is all moot -- all governmental opposition to stem-cell research will go out the window when they find out that scientists can grow boobies in the lab! [harvard.edu]

      BOOBIES, MAN -- BOOOBIESSSSSS!!!!!

      Bemopolis
    • Re:Gee whiz (Score:2, Insightful)

      Oh, puhhhlease. That's the old Nazi/Imperial Japan justification.

      You're claiming your hoped-for results justify the means, whatever those may be. That's intellectually and moraly bankrupt.

      Your statement is the same line of thought that would promote "growing" human beings as unwilling test subjects for medical testing.
      • Uh yeah. Except that the only one proposing that the microscopic lumps of cells are living breathing people is you. Whackadoo. Zero to Godwin in one step though. Props.
      • Re:Gee whiz (Score:3, Insightful)

        by blincoln ( 592401 )
        Your statement is the same line of thought that would promote "growing" human beings as unwilling test subjects for medical testing.

        Yes, like how harvesting organs from people killed in accidents promotes "'growing' human beings as unwilling test subjects for medical testing."

        Like how fertility clinics paying women for their eggs and men for their sperm promotes "'growing' human beings as unwilling test subjects for medical testing."

        You're claiming your hoped-for results justify the means, whatever those ma
    • Its not about helping people, its about making a buck.

      if someone happents to be cured along the way, so much the better.
    • All that has *EVER* been banned, is federal funding of research. If there are so many promising avenues out there, just begging to be investigated, so they can yield fabulous, cheap treatments, then private reseach, funded by private dollars will find them.

      Anyone that thinks that a government operation funded by someone elses money can make more rational decisions that a private company investing it's hard earned $$ needs to have their head examined.

      If the market says that it's a losing bet, I don't want t
      • Anyone that thinks that a government operation funded by someone elses money can make more rational decisions that a private company investing it's hard earned $$ needs to have their head examined.

        So it is a hatred of governemnt that fuels the choice to delay treatments by reducing funding. Don't you want to see people cured? Don't you think that private organizations are raising money? Wouldn't you think that additional research being done, even with government money, will speed a cure, even if not as
      • Well, I don't know about your idea that all rational thought about money is based on profit motive. Expenditures that fuel the common good are not necessarily going to lead to short-term profit. For example, how about grade-school education? Clearly this is a public good in my mind that should be funded, although I am generally a libertarian philosophically. But few corporations would fun childhood primary education, nor should they. I prefer that the government fund it, but I would like to see them ru
      • by tfoss ( 203340 ) on Saturday March 04, 2006 @08:40PM (#14851723)
        If there are so many promising avenues out there, just begging to be investigated, so they can yield fabulous, cheap treatments, then private reseach, funded by private dollars will find them.

        Baloney. Private industry, by and large, does not fund basic research. They wait for governmentally funded research to get to a nearly-marketable place, and then take it up. Stem cell research is still a long way from being marketable, and thusly, big pharma is happy to sit around making obscene amounts of money from cialis, vioxx (doh), etc etc until we're 10 years down the road researchwise.

        Anyone that thinks that a government operation funded by someone elses money can make more rational decisions that a private company investing it's hard earned $$ needs to have their head examined.

        Anyone who thinks private companies spend more than a pittance on basic research needs to have their head examined. Speaking as a biomedical researcher, I can assure you that the vast majority of basic reasearch occurs in publically funded labs. The non-linear nature of basic scientific research means for-profit companies have little patience with it.

        If the market says that it's a losing bet, I don't want to fund that bet w/ my tax dollars instead. Unfortunately, my fellow voters in this state, aren't as smart.

        This fallacy of the market as an all-knowing, all-powerful, most-efficient means of everything, though accepted by you, is not accepted by everyone (including, fortunately, the majority of our fellow californians). There are many areas where market forces are applicable and positive...but basic biomedical research, like law enforcement, like road-building, like military protection, like public health, is simply not one of them.

        -Ted

  • Born of controversy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by HotNeedleOfInquiry ( 598897 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:47PM (#14846154)
    As far as I can tell, the stem cell agency was created as much as a backhand to Bush for not supporting stem cell work on a federal level as it was to actually get some work done. Well, the work isn't getting done.

    Personally, I'd like to see some good come of this. Unfortunately, when a public agency is born out of controversy, unified support is hard to come by.
    • This doesn't justify violating the will of the voters in an undemocratic manner.
      • Of course not. I was not trying to offer a justification, only my personal observation.
      • It's a good thing we don't live in a democracy. The California initiative system is a good example of the problems with democratic political processes.
        • The California initiative system is a good example of the problems with democratic political processes.

          I think Gov. Ahnuld is a better example of what's wrong with democracy in California.

          Sure the initiative system isn't perfect and many of the high profile cases directly from the ballot box to court but in a system that allows the Patriot Act to pass with one dissenting vote I personally LIKE the idea of actually being able to end run the legislature and enact 'the will of the people'.

          =tkk

          PS This i

      • How are they violating the will of the voters, if it's the taxpayer groups (you know, the voters) that are suing the Institute they voted to create?
        • These are a few people who lost on the ballot who are now resigned to purporting to represent voters. Hey, I got an idea, I'll create a group with my buddies, slap a "People for Tax Payers and Other Americans" then hold up any ballot initiative I don't like. Win for democracy and our representative form of government!

          Californians voted for this. End of story, don't spin it.
          • I'm not spinning. I'm a California resident, and while their end goal might be to repeal the proposition, they do bring up some valid points. Just because they're 'disgruntled voters' or 'kooks' like an Anonymous Coward mentioned below, they can't bring up valid points?

            There is no close scrutiny at a state level on how the grants are going to be dolled out. The grant discussions are going to be done behind closed doors with no public opinion hearings on whether or not certain grants should be blocked.

            Th
            • That is a valid complain, one that these "tax payer representatives" have clinged to to delay this. I think though that the most qualified people have been chosen, so as a voter who actually voted for this, I have no problems with them deciding who to give the money to. We need the research yesterday, if it goes to the UC system because a UC regent is on the board I really don't care.
    • Bush does support stem cell work on a Federal level, and is in fact the first President to ever do so.

      It's just that he supports adult stem cell research at the federal level, not fetal stem cell research--and even then, he still supports some fetal stem cell research, utilizing material gathered before the decision that breeding our own kind for parts was unethical.

      Please make sure to differentiate between adult stem cell research and fetal stem cell research in your discussion. The former receives federal
      • Thanks for the clarification.

      • And one form of research has great potential for curing disease, and the other has remarkably less so. The material in stock prior to Bush's decision is unusable due to contamination.

        You statement . . .the decision that breeding our own kind for parts was unethical exposes your bias and ignorance. Please make sure to differentiate between science and ideology.
        • I think this comment does distinguish between science and ideology, or at least between science and ethics. The statement did equate stem cell research with "breeding our own kind for parts" without any sort of justification, but this is different from, say, claiming "the laws of thermodynamics makes evolution impossible." There is a definite answer as to whether thermodynamics makes evolution impossible. There is not a definite answer as to whether stem cell research is ethical. Blurring these two lines is

          • "breeding your own kind for parts" necessarily implies that the writer feels that embryonic stem cell research as a whole is unethical.

            In its current form it is not. The potential for abuse is there, but you don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.
  • by Swift Kick ( 240510 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:51PM (#14846187)
    The institute which is being sued was a direct result of the passing of California's Proposition 71.

    The proposition basically said that a institute would be created to oversee applications and grants of stem cell research, and fund said research by issuing bonds worth up to $350million per year, up to a maximum of $3billion overall.

    It's ironic that the representativesof the voters that voted this bill in are the ones that are now suing the institute the bill created, completely ignoring the fact that the bill itself states that funding deliberations are exempt from the state's open-meeting law.
    Go read it, it's all here: http://www.ss.ca.gov/elections/bp_nov04/prop_71_en tire.pdf [ca.gov]

    They voted for something they DID NOT READ AND UNDERSTAND FULLY. This is a sad reality in today's elections; very rarely you find anyone who actually knows what they're voting for, instead following the misleading propaganda out there, with stupid statements like "If you don't pass this bill, millions of kids will die!". Just check out the homepage for the institute itself:

    http://www.curesforcalifornia.com/ [curesforcalifornia.com]

    Sometimes, it boggles the mind how ignorant and idiotic my fellow Californians can be....
    • by Anonymous Coward
      people claiming to be the representatives of the voters that voted this bill in

      There, I fixed it for you, understand now? This is an example of right wing kooks purporting to speak for the majority.
      • Thanks for the 'clarification', Anonymous Coward.

        Now, kindly explain in your opinion, which is the best outcome from this lawsuit:

        1) The 'kooks' get shot down, and the Institute moves on with a number of possible conflicts of interest in their board, at which sometime down the road, someone will complain about only certain companies and schools are getting funding, so another lawsuit comes along;

        2) The 'kooks' win the case, and the institute is folded. A new proposition is submitted where there will be a

    • No, the people who are suing are those who voted against the bill, trying anything they can to enforce their ideology on others.

      As someone who has something to gain from this research, I hope I live long enough to see some results.
    • What the hell? You guys voted for an actor with zero experience in doing anything but living the high life and groping women for the highest of your state. It should not take this act to show you how idiotic your fellow californians are.
    • Hi,

      I voted for this bill, even though I was very troubled by the fact that it seemed to be a big handout for corporate interests, with little to no oversight. I, and many others, were very unhappy with the exact terms of the bill. However, I held my nose and voted for it, after much deliberation, because the prospect of stem cell research being defeated in California was worse. Even if it was voted down because of the no open meetings provisions, or the biotech corporate connections, it would be seen as
  • >>Hall also said the confidential grant discussions also bolster >>frank scientific opinions about applications.

    I'll say!

    I'd be happy to give my scientific opinion about almost anything if I could do it in a secret meeting!

  • Old as time (Score:1, Troll)

    by zymano ( 581466 )
    Religous people trying to stop research.

    http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/10.01/cadavers. html [wired.com]
    • Re:Old as time (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Stevyn ( 691306 )
      Um...did you read the article. It sounded more like people had a problem with a commitee doling out 3 billion dollars without having to hold public hearings on who gets the money. No where did I read that a religious group was involved. This sounds more like "old as time...liberals blame 'right wingers' for something." btw, I am not religious nor against stem cell research so don't blame me.
      • I didn't read it . I thought it was another of a countless attacks on stem cell research by religous groups.
    • Re:Old as time (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Dynedain ( 141758 ) <slashdot2@@@anthonymclin...com> on Friday March 03, 2006 @06:28PM (#14846472) Homepage
      Religous people trying to stop research.
      Or people with a sense of fiscal responsibility perhaps? Nice anti-religion troll.

      I have no problem with Stem Cell Research. In fact, I think it should be encouraged and funded with public dollars (as long as the public funding it gets the royalties, patents, or benefits - not private corporations). However, this was a ballot measure in California to distribute billions of dollars to a new research institute with virtually no oversight. It isn't part of an existing California State Agency, it is its own ambiguous entity with required funding levels outside of any state-run controls. Already, the fiscal irresponsibility of this program has been proven by their choise for location: one of the highest rent districts in California, San Francisco. (Remember the dot-com stupidity?)

      California is already running a budget that is aproximately $15,000,000,000 in deficit. This program would tack on several billion dollars more in state spending a year. It is fiscally irresponsible and was passed entirely as a "feel-good" measure and played exclusively off of general anti-Bush sentiments in the California voting public. How, and who it allocates funds to isn't clearly defined. Ownership of any technologies produced through its programs isn't clearly defined. It doesn't have clear goals other than the broad term "stem cell research". It has an enormous budget, without restrictions, and without oversight controls for abuses. It is, in short, a money pit.

      It was a bad ballot measure, pure and simple.

      California is problematic, in that it keeps passing mandatory expenditures through ballot proposals, therebye completely bypassing both the legislature and the governator and causing huge unforseen consequences. (For another great example of this, take a look at "Proposition 13" which locked in property taxes and has completely screwed up school and other local funding, and is now nearly impossible to fix or overturn).
      • 15 TRILLION in deficit? I ahve my doubts.

        If the measure is not stopped in courts, top of the line researchers will move to California. As will research companies.

        "Already, the fiscal irresponsibility of this program has been proven by their choise for location: one of the highest rent districts in California, San Francisco."

        well gosh, could it be becasue they have a good brain base there?

        however, the people in court to stop this are doing it on religious grounds, and nothing more.
        • Thats billion, not trillion... and yes, it is that high. 15,000 million dollars.

          2005 State Budget Deficits [cbpp.org]

          And San Francisco proper is not a great "brain base". The Silicon Valley, nearby, is much cheaper. Most of the biotech in CA is already in San Diego, which is also substantially cheaper, and has regions within it that are far far cheaper than anything in San Francisco.

      • You can people names but it doesn't change a thing.

    • Seriously, early Christianity (or at least organized Christianity in the Catholic church) has tended to not like Science and anything that didn't have to do with the Church.

      Remember Copernicus? Galieo?

      Back then, Islam was more into science and learning. Remember most of the Greek works that would have been lost during the dark ages were saved by Islamic Scholars and later made their way back into Europe after 1400's.

      Even though today, being religious shouldn't mean that you are against science and knowledge
      • Yes, but Christianity theology is based heavily on Plato, and later Aristotle, which science owes a lot to. Yes, the West was reintroduced to the Greeks through Islam, but it was theologians and philosophers, not scientists, who were introduced. Historically, the courage that scientific inquiry would find some sort of answer in an ordered world grew in part out of faith in a creator. Kepler famously believed the Sun should be at the center of the solar system because he found it a fitting place for God to l
  • by Widowwolf ( 779548 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:57PM (#14846240) Homepage
    TO all of those who say this should not be on slashdot..BS!..This is as scientific as nasa, nano technology or anythign else.

    This did pass with a wide margin during the last elections, and they really need to shape this up. I think any college applying for grants should not have people on the board..Its called bias, and there are not enough people in the political system who do not have it.

    I believe that the more schools help themselves without the grants, the more they should get because of the grants..Instead of putting all thier money into sports, cheerleading and Aestetic purposes, put it into something useful..

    We have already proven that this is the next step in curing disabilities, regrowing missing parts(such as teeth..imagine never having to get dentures or an implant), possibly even giving hearing back to the deaf, sight back to the blindies, and possibly(they theorize) regrowing limbs..

    If you dont call this science(which is one of the major categories on slashdot) then tell me what do you consider science? All robots and machines..If so i feel sorry for you!

    This is not flamebait post, no is it trolling, for people who look at this and shun it, wait until the day they need this science for themselves...I have heard Christians who shun this, until the break thier back, then the whole argument is completely reversed and they are all for it.
    • "This is as scientific as nasa, nano technology or anythign else."
      no it's not, this is politcs.
    • The only problem is that stem-cell research is a relatively small field (handfuls of people), and this institute funds research only in CA. When you add the fact that the University of California is the entity responsible for most biological research in the state, you necessitate that some of the "experts" judging the proposals are faculty at some UC institution. It's unavoidable. Is it biased? Yes...just about the only thing I believe they can reasonably do is to ban members on the board and their dire
  • From TFA: The three tax payers groups are led by Gene Hackman ... Timmyyyy!
  • This is probably going to be labeled "flamebait", or "trolling", but this is an honest opinion.

    The judge will hopefully rule in favor of stalling this. Prop 71 uses taxpayer funds and this will never go away. Even though it's s'posed to expire in 10 years, it will keep getting renewed and we CA taxpayers get to foot the bill. More CA spent on research that may go nowhere. The fact that embrionic stem cell research isn't largely funded elsewhere in the world should be a big hint that the controversy isn't ju

    • > The private sector doesn't want to invest in this. That should speak volumes about even the scientific
      > community's faith (pardon the pun) in embrionic stem cell research.

      Just because the private sector doesn't want to invest in it doesn't mean that its not promising. My understanding is that embryonic stem cell research is still pure research (frankly, thats pretty much all I know about it.) The private sector doesn't tend to fund pure research directly; they do it with the rest of us, through the
      • Just because the private sector doesn't want to invest in it doesn't mean that its not promising.


        I think it's pretty revealing. What's more -- this kind of research isn't being done on a mass scale outside the United States. WHere are the embrionic stem cell discoveries from Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, etc?


        Seems like a promise that won't be kept.

    • "
      The judge will hopefully rule in favor of stalling this. Prop 71 uses taxpayer funds and this will never go away. Even though it's s'posed to expire in 10 years, it will keep getting renewed and we CA taxpayers get to foot the bill."

      It was voter APPROVED. IT is the will of the people in California to put money into stem cell research.

      This in no way takes away rights the way prop 187 tried to do.

      "It's sad the $3 billion of tax payer funds won't go to adult stem cell research, where the results have been for
      • But that's the problem with this proposition.

        While it is being funded by the taxpayers, it is not available for public scrutiny.
        The public has no say in what grants' proposals are to be considered, or given priority to.
        The public has no say in who should get funding or not.
        The public cannot even be present or represented in the Institute meetings, because well, they can't.
        The people that are running the funding are the ones that stand to benefit the most from a financial perspective if research pays off, wi
      • It was voter APPROVED. IT is the will of the people in California to put money into stem cell research.

        So was Prop 187. And that's just one.

        This in no way takes away rights the way prop 187 tried to do.

        That's debatable. But I guess you're for a judge overruling the voters then if you disapprove of the proposition?

        haha, sorry but most of the world ahs no problem with this, and does fund it.

        Really? Can you name some huge discoveries as a result?

        Venter Capitilist don't want to throw good money in v

    • I hate to point this out but your post really sounds self contradictory. First you say:

      "The fact that embrionic stem cell research isn't largely funded elsewhere in the world should be a big hint that the controversy isn't just religious."

      Then you say:

      "It's sad the $3 billion of tax payer funds won't go to adult stem cell research, where the results have been forthcoming. There's been /. posts of adult stem research reviving all types of nerve cells, and there's no ethical delimma involved."

      So you are sayi
  • At quick glance I read Sperm "Cell Research in a Judge's Hands"...nevermind, form your own joke about it...
  • forgotten history (Score:2, Insightful)

    by defro ( 857858 )
    "Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between church and State
    • My personal inclination is that embryos are not individuals, and that embryonic stem cell research should continue. However, the personhood of an embryo is not a scientific question. It is rather a philosophical and ethical conclusion drawn from scientific facts. How can people who turn to religion to help them answer philosophical and ethics questions be violating the separation of church and state? What else do you expect them to do? We haven't passed a law that lets the Pope decide whether stem cell rese
    • What religion? This is about money. California is stealing money from education funding to pay for this, and other budget shortfalls.

      Basically, some medical research companies saw a way to make a quick buck at the expense of a gullible public anxious to stick it to Bush and his religious right cronies. The result: a 3 billion dollar beuraucracy to pad the wallets of people who work the system.
  • "The taxpayers groups said that at least five members of the 29-member board have conflicts because they are University of California officials and the school's various campuses have already applied for stem cell grants. Others on the board are biotechnology executives and investors whose investments could benefit from stem cell grants."

    Almos every memeber of congress is a member of the Bar association. Clearly, they have a vested interest in passing laws which benefit lawyers. Based on the proposed arg

  • What's happened to Slashdot? Almost half of the articles recently seem to be Politics or Your Rights Online with political leanings. What happened to the tradition of News For Nerds? Technology news that truely piques the interest of techies. I get more than enough political garbage from TV and the radio, and when I turn to the Internet to read interesting technology articles I find more politics. I'm just so sick of politics and am worried that Slashdot will turn into a political website and bail on i
  • You can wipe those "stem cells" out of your hands with a towel and get back to work.
  • Bad policy (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sybert ( 192766 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @06:56PM (#14846686) Journal
    If scientists were allocating $3 billion in public funds for research then I doubt that embryonic stem cell research would be allocated very much. Energy research would be the highest priority. The demand for Bush bashing is far higher than the actual demand for embryonic stem cell research. The proposition was also sold on many false promises, like the promise that the research would pay for itself [sacbee.com]. If their promises were true than there would be no need for public funding. There are also constitutional problems with open meetings, conflict of interest, and the use of tax-exempt bonds for taxable assets.

    We would be much better off if the funds raised to pass the initiative had been used for research instead.
    • after the certian base technologies are developed, it will pay for itself

      remember the Internet? Government tax dollars. I would say that it has paid for itself.

      "The demand for Bush bashing is far higher than the actual demand for embryonic stem cell research."
      funny, my friends in the industry say the desire is very high. How do you know what the demand is when no one has anyway to ask for maoney?

      You relize this research has already cured some genetic deseases in fish and mice? Will those cures prove effecti
  • I'm not sure when Markos Moulitsas Zuniga snuck in here and stole Slashdot, but can we have it back, please?

    How many political articles does this make this week?
    • Short answer, no.

      A longer answer is that there's this lovely little checkbox you can mark on your user preference page to make sure you never, ever, ever, see articles like this again. If they upset you so, YOU MIGHT AVAIL YOURSELF OF THE THIRTY SECONDS OR SO IT MIGHT TAKE FOR YOU TO CLICK THAT CHECKBOX AND HIT THE SUBMIT BUTTON! Or are you just bitching because you don't like the political viewpoint supposedly espoused by the article and don't want to take the time to defend your political views? Either

      • Short answer, no.

        You're honest, at least. Arrogant, but honest.

        A longer answer is that there's this lovely little checkbox you can mark on your user preference page to make sure you never, ever, ever, see articles like this again.

        Which one would that be? The politics button? Oh, I see...except that this story wasn't just in the politics section, but biotech to boot. In other words, politics is bleeding into nearly every aspect of Slashdot. This is not how it was even a few short years ago.

        ...and don't want

  • To be more exact, the future of Proposition 71 funding of stem cell research is in question. There is still other stem cell research going on in California, and the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine has started doing private fundraising, having raised $30 million so far:

    http://www.islet.org/forum/messages/41345.htm [islet.org]
  • by unicorn ( 8060 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @08:04PM (#14847102)
    I'm a fairly well informed Californian, who voted against this measure. It was a boondoggle from the get go. And only gets worse with time.

    I voted against the measure for one simple, obvious fact. The supporters sold this to the state as a moneymaker. That it was a "can't lose" "investment" and that any research that was commercialized would send money back to the state, more than sufficient to repay the bonds, etc. Of course if that was the case, and that there was tons of medical cash to be made. Then private companies would already be funding this research.

    Basically, *ANY* sure fire, guaranteed investment, where there our outsized returns that are 100% guaranteed is going to have people lined up around the block to get in on it. And the State has no need to float a massive bond to fund it. The market will throw money at anything even remotely like that.

    So the basic premise that the measure was sold to the voters on, was a blatant lie. There's never been any guarantee at all that the taxpayers of Calif wouldn't be on the hook for the whole 3 Billion.

    And since the measure was passed, it's only gotten to be less of a deal for the residents of Calif.

    The part that the article referenced neglected to mention. Is that there are now some questions about the legality of the measure as it was passed. Specifically, now that they have all the $$ they wanted, they have discovered a tax issue. In order for the bonds to be issued as tax-free issues, then the state can't use the monies in profit making enterprises. So the State can't compel the grant recipients to pay the state back, no matter how much the generate in revenue from the discoveries that the taxpayers are now funding for them. And apparently the legal/tax ramifications of all of that were made clear to the primary boosters of the measure *before* the election. And they just neglected to mention that to the voters at all. They just kept selling how it was a "sure thing" investment. And the bonds are FAR less appealing in the market, and FAR more expensive to issue, if they aren't tax free bonds.

    Anytime anyone tells you they have a sure fire investment, guaranteed to make you rich beyond your wildest dreams, RUN the other way, tightly clutching your wallet. A lesson that the state will be learning the hard way, this time around.
    • I have high respect for you for two reasons: a) you are an informed California voter, and b) you make a brilliant argument. I actually respect you as much for part 'a' as for 'b', if not more, because voting in California is perhaps one of the most difficult propositions there is, no pun intended. Especially when 32 of the 48 ballot initiatives are written in legalese, 12 more are just special interest bills, with a remaining 4 being understandable and relevant. Thanks for the input. I'm just surprised that
      • The "beauty" of the proposition system in Calif, is that the voters can create laws without the involvement of the Legislature of the governator.

        The good news is that you can get stuff done, that the big bucks special interest types might otherwise oppose.

        The bad news is that with a little spit, polish, and a marketing campaign you can blow smoke up peoples asses till they feel all warm inside, and will vote for just about anything.

        So now we have 2 paths for creating laws. Corrupt politicians, or stupid vo
  • There are a lot of stem cells out there. There is no actual need to use embryonic cells. The popular press and most people think of the two as the same thing, they are not, one is specific, the other is general. There is a clear cut and obvious (and quite dangerous) slippery slope using embryos, so it is better to focus research on all the other sources.
  • by xtal ( 49134 ) on Saturday March 04, 2006 @12:26AM (#14848312)
    ..and then we'll see where the hypocrites are when cures and treatments for horrible diseases appear.
  • Disclosure: Resident of California. I recall voting against this proposition, using a paper ballot (we have the choice), though I have no idea if my vote was actually counted.

    In this case I wonder if maybe it's not possible for all of the following to be true about each member of such an advisory board:

    1. knowedgeable about the specialized subject matter
    2. capable of making informed judgements about it
    3. free of financial interest in the outcomes
    4. unbiased

    The board is supposed to be chosen based on "kno

Those who do things in a noble spirit of self-sacrifice are to be avoided at all costs. -- N. Alexander.

Working...