Ripple Effects of Proposition 71

The passage of Proposition 71 and the prospects of $300 million in public embryonic stem cell research funding each year for the next decade is having a widespread effect on the research community. It has spurred on similar efforts in New Jersey and Massachusetts, while prompting discussions in other states with large research establishments. The threat of companies and talent moving to California is taken seriously these days:

Prior to the passage of a $3 billion stem cell research initiative in California last month, the institutions of Houston's Texas Medical Center seemed guaranteed a pre-eminent position in the research field some feel will revolutionize medicine. Now the lure of all that Golden State seed money might draw research talent away from the Texas Gulf Coast.

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"We're very concerned about losing research scientists who are interested in stem cell biology and medicine to California," comments Dr. James Willerson, a cardiologist and stem cell researcher. He's also the president-elect of the Texas Heart Institute and president of the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston.

So, for better or worse, I think we'll be seeing much more public funding for embryonic stem cell research and related fields at the state level in the next few years.

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