Via ScienceDaily: "New Jersey has become the first state to use public money to fund human stem cell research. The state announced $5 million in grants Friday to be split among 17 projects, the New York Times reported. Only three involve human embryonic stem cells, with others studying animals or using adult stem cells." This is small potatoes when compared against the much larger private investment in the field to date. The damage done by anti-research politics - such as attempts to ban vital technologies or whole swathes of medical science - is better measured by the extent to which it scares away risk-averse venture capital than by the posturing of public funding.