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Stem-cell funding proposed

Published January 30, 2007


TALLAHASSEE - Setting up a legislative debate over whether stem cell research can be realized without the destruction of human embryos, a state lawmaker said Monday she will file a bill to call for increased spending on other, less controversial types of stem cell research.

Rep. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, proposed spending $20-million on biomedical research projects that don't require the destruction of embryos.

Researchers hoping to treat or cure a wide array of diseases and injuries are working in several types of stem cell research. The use of stem cells culled from adults, from umbilical cord blood and amniotic fluid aren't very controversial.

But many researchers say the most promising type of stem cell research involves the use of cells harvested from embryos, because they have the ability to become any tissue in the body.

Opponents say it is wrong to destroy embryos, which they consider human beings.

Last week, another Florida lawmaker, Rep. Franklin Sands, filed a bill that would earmark $20-million in state money for research on all kinds of stem cell research, including embryonic research. Sands, D-Weston, argues that other types of research won't produce as many results as could be realized with more embryonic research.

Gov. Charlie Crist has said in the past that he would support state spending on embryonic stem cell research. He has also said, however, that he would like to see science get more use out of nonembroyonic stem cell research.

[Last modified January 30, 2007, 01:27:11]

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