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Digest

Flaws found in study on stem cells

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published February 24, 2007


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MINNEAPOLIS

A scientific panel says a 2002 study that suggested adult stem cells might be as useful as embryonic ones was flawed and its conclusions may be wrong, a finding that raises questions about the promise of a less controversial source for stem cells. The research in 2002 by Catherine Verfaillie at the University of Minnesota concluded that adult stem cells taken from the bone marrow of mice could grow into an array of biological tissues, including brain, heart, lung and liver. So far only embryonic stem cells, which are commonly retrieved by destroying embryos at an early stage of development, are known to hold such regenerative promise. Verfaillie acknowledged flaws in parts of her study after inquiries from the British magazine New Scientist, which first publicized the questions last week.

FORT LAUDERDALE

Smith's mother fights burial plan

Anna Nicole Smith's estranged mother filed an emergency request Friday to block her burial in the Bahamas. Virgie Arthur filed the request with Broward County Circuit Judge Larry Seidlin, who a day earlier allowed the guardian for Smith's baby daughter to decide where she could be buried. The guardian, Richard Milstein, has decided Smith should be buried in the Bahamas beside her son, Daniel, who died last fall at age 20. Arthur had sought to bury Smith in her native Texas.

MARTINEZ, CALIF.

Woman gets jail for killing husband

Susan Polk, who fatally stabbed her millionaire psychotherapist husband to death in 2002, was sentenced Friday to 16 years to life in prison for murder. Polk, 49, received the maximum sentence after acting as her own lawyer in a trial permeated with theatrics, including discussion of her psychic powers and cross-examination of her own sons. She said she killed Felix Polk, 70, in self-defense after years of abuse and said authorities fabricated and suppressed evidence.

COLUMBUS, OHIO

Original Wendy's to close in March

Wendy's International Inc. said Friday that sagging sales will force it to close the restaurant where the nation's third-largest hamburger chain began in 1969. The iconic restaurant in downtown Columbus, filled with memorabilia and photographs of the late Wendy's founder, Dave Thomas, will close March 2.

Elsewhere

Washington: Jurors deliberated a third day Friday without reaching a verdict on whether former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby obstructed the investigation into who leaked the identity of a CIA operative married to a prominent Iraq war critic.

Washington: A computer glitch caused a power failure in May 2006 that shut down the Washington-to-New York City rail corridor for two hours during the morning rush, Amtrak said Friday.

Providence, R.I.: Gov. Don Carcieri issued an executive order Friday mandating furloughs on four Fridays for all nonessential state employees to help close a $350-million gap in the state budget. Employees wouldn't be paid for the days off on March 30, April 6, May 25 and June 8.

Austin, Texas: A group of families has filed a lawsuit Thursday seeking to block Gov. Rick Perry's executive order requiring schoolgirls to be vaccinated against the virus that causes cervical cancer.

[Last modified February 24, 2007, 01:05:37]


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