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10 Minn. J.L. Sci. & Tech. 1 (2008-2009)

handle is hein.journals/mipr10 and id is 1 raw text is: Zach W. Hall, Stem Cell Research in California: The Intersection of Science,
Politics, Culture, and Law. 10(1) MINN. J.L. ScI. & TECH.EI-E18 (2008).
Stem Cell Research in California:
The Intersection of Science, Politics, Culture,
and Law
Zach W. Hall*
In November 2004 the voters of California passed
Proposition 71 (the California Stem Cell Research and Cures
Bond Act), which authorized the expenditure of $3 billion for
stem cell research raised through the issuance of state bonds.'
The passage of Proposition 71 marked a new phase in
American biomedical research. For the first time, a state
undertook to finance, through bonds, a large-scale biomedical
research project in a new and untested area.
Alive with scientific and medical possibility, stem cell
research is nevertheless a new field whose effective application
to human disease remains to be demonstrated. The most
promising   facet of the    new   technology   involves human
embryonic stem cells, whose use in the United States is
embroiled in ethical and political controversy rooted in the
sensitive issue of abortion.2 Because of the controversy, the
federal government has declined to support this research
except on a limited basis,3 leaving California and other states
to fill the gap.   Large, state-supported biomedical research
projects offer an opportunity to develop new structures for
funding biomedical science, but they also pose new challenges
as inexperienced    state governments struggle to establish
© 2008 Zach W. Hall.
* Zach Hall, Ph.D., is the Founder and former President of the
California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). He was the University
of Minnesota's Oscar M. Ruebahusen Visiting Professor in Bioethics in 2007.
This Visiting Professorship was made possible by funding from The Greenwall
Foundation, and was sponsored in part by the University of Minnesota's
Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment & the Life Sciences,
Center for Bioethics, and the Mayo Clinic. Professor Hall's lecture on Stem
Cell Research: At the Intersection of Science, Politics, Law, and Culture is
available at https://umconnect.umn.edu/p49863722.
1. California Stem Cell Research and Cures Bond Act of 2004, CAL.
HEALTH & SAFETY CODE § 125291.30 (West 2004).
2. See generally D.C. Wertz, Embryo and Stem Cell Research in the
United States: History and Politics, 9 GENE THERAPY 674 (2002).
3. Press Release, White House Fact Sheet: Embryonic Stem Cell
Research (Aug. 9, 2001), http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2001/
08/20010809-1.html; see also Exec. Order No. 13,435, 72 Fed. Reg. 34,591
(June 22, 2007).

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