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  • Stem cell research

    Are you for or against it?

    Stem cell hope for liver disease
    By Rachael Buchanan
    BBC News

    John Jones took part in the trial
    Researchers have begun a pioneering trial using patients' own stem cells to treat their chronic liver disease.
    A team at London's Hammersmith Hospital is attempting to reverse cirrhosis of the liver by harnessing and enhancing the body's own repair mechanism.

    They are using adult stem cells extracted from patients' bone marrow to generate new tissue in damaged areas.

    A Japanese group is also testing adult stem cells as a treatment for liver fibrosis.

    Liver disease is dramatically on the increase in the UK - something doctors mostly blame on burgeoning lifestyles of excess.

    Deaths from alcoholic liver disease have doubled in the last 10 years, with figures for the condition in young people increasing eight-fold due to binge drinking.

    Add to that a growing obesity problem and a predicted trebling of the disorder from viral hepatitis in the next 20 years and it is clear that this condition is becoming a major challenge for the NHS.

    Longsuffering organ

    The liver is a forgiving organ and can tolerate, and recover from, a certain amount of abuse so long as the damage is not too advanced.

    However, the liver is also rather stoic and there are often no warning signals until it is too late.

    There is no equivalent dialysis machine for liver disorders so patients with chronic disease are eventually left with two stark outcomes, organ transplantation or death.

    Putting aside the rigours of a transplant operation and a life on immunosuppression regime, patients often do not even get offered that choice.

    Only a few will be deemed suitable for transplant and although there are about 600-700 liver transplants a year, for every donor organ there are 10 patients on the waiting list.

    Which is why other options are urgently needed.

    Five patients have now received this novel stem cell treatment at the West London hospital.

    The last was John Jones, who owns a hairdressing salon in Shropshire.

    Rare condition

    John's condition is rarer. It is not a product of his lifestyle but is due to his body's immune system attacking his own organ.

    Professor Habib is excited by the potential

    It was picked up during a routine prostate examination six years ago and since then his condition has deteriorated to the point of liver failure.

    Although a little daunted at undergoing an experimental treatment, John signed up for the trial because he could not face the alternative.

    "It was worth the risk and I would go through it again," he told the BBC News website just two hours after his operation.

    "I didn't want to have a transplant and spend the rest of my life on anti-rejection drugs, so I thought I would grasp at a straw."

    John and his four fellow patients had their blood filtered and their stem cells separated out.

    These were then injected into the hepatic artery in the liver under local anaesthetic, while the red blood cells were returned to the body through the arm.


    The five patients are being regularly monitored for any signs of a reaction to the treatment or signs of improvement.

    Laboratory tests have shown the function of the liver can be improved by repopulating it with stem cells.

    You are taking the patients' own cells, making them behave like a liver cell and then giving them back to the patient, so they treat themselves

    Professor Nagy Habib

    As this initial trial was just designed to check the safety of the procedures, with only a small amount of stem cells being put into the liver, no real recovery in function was expected.

    However, Professor Nagy Habib, head of liver surgery at Hammersmith, who is leading the research, is encouraged by the early results.

    He said: "The icing on the cake was that some of the blood results were already improved."

    He is now looking forward to the second phase of the trial this summer, which will see much larger preparations of stem cells injected into the livers of a greater number of patients, and is designed to test the treatment's ability to actually reverse disease.

    "I think it would be very exciting if it works because you are taking the patients' own cells, making them behave like a liver cell and then giving them back to the patient, so they treat themselves."

    Huge promise

    Alison Rogers, chief executive of the British Liver Trust which campaigns for patients with liver disease, is also hopeful of the promises this treatment holds out.

    "Like many new technologies under development they take time and you hear of exciting results that in the end don't come to fruition, but stem cell technology represents a huge leap forward in treating many diseases.

    "In liver disease in particular it has the potential for tremendous advances.

    "We have seen that stem cell technology can do so much in general medicine so we can be confident it will really help in liver disease - the question is just when this starts to be seen in the clinic."

  • #2
    I'm for if it helps cure diseases. Simple


    • #3

      I'm for it also, if it helps to cure disease.

      My next door neighbour, a young man, has recently had a kidney transplant. The man had to wait YEARS for it. He had to suffer dialysis for years and really suffered. His wife and children experienced a lot of stress and worry, especially as his eldest son is now developing the disease because it is genetic.

      So yes, I am for it.


      • #4
        Re: Agreed

        Originally posted by Mourad_A
        I'm for it also, if it helps to cure disease.

        My next door neighbour, a young man, has recently had a kidney transplant. The man had to wait YEARS for it. He had to suffer dialysis for years and really suffered. His wife and children experienced a lot of stress and worry, especially as his eldest son is now developing the disease because it is genetic.

        So yes, I am for it.
        Mourad this is terrible. There are so many of these stories but finally there is light no? I am with you and mean on this


        • #5
          Yes there is light but.......

          The generousity of a total stranger saved him. The donor had completed an organ donor card, so when he died someone else (my neighbour) could live.

          Following on...has anyone here on this board completed the organ donor card? I have. I thought about it for quite some time - about five years actually.

          I was worried at first in case they cut me up before I was dead, but I don't think this happens...well if it would anyone know? But I still completed the organ donor card eventually......

          Sorry to be so macabre....but it is an interesting ethical question also.


          • #6
            Re: Yes there is light but.......

            Originally posted by Mourad_A
            The generousity of a total stranger saved him. The donor had completed an organ donor card, so when he died someone else (my neighbour) could live.

            Following on...has anyone here on this board completed the organ donor card? I have. I thought about it for quite some time - about five years actually.

            I was worried at first in case they cut me up before I was dead, but I don't think this happens...well if it would anyone know? But I still completed the organ donor card eventually......

            Sorry to be so macabre....but it is an interesting ethical question also.

            LOL funny you mention that, I think about it sometimes and I have the same fear. i don't know, it's for the right reasons but i'm still scared.


            • #7
              Stem-cell transfer breakthrough raises hopes for blindness cure

              A breakthrough in restoring sight to the blind has been made with a study showing that a damaged eye can be repaired by transplanting light-sensitive cells. The results of an experiment on laboratory mice have been so successful, scientists believe clinical trials on blind people could start within 10 years.

              If the breakthrough can be developed further it could lead to new forms of treatment for the 300,000 visually impaired people in Britain who suffer from age-related macular degeneration and the thousands of blind children with inherited diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa.

              Mice that were born blind because of a genetic condition were able to see light for the first time after a revolutionary transplant operation involving stem cells * the key cells that develop into the light-sensitive tissue of the eye's retina.

              The scientists behind the research believe that it is the first time that nerve cells at the back of eye have been successfully transplanted to restore vision, a development that promises to help millions of blind people throughout the world. "The most important thing is the principle that it can be done," said Robert MacLaren, a consultant surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, who was part of the Anglo-American research team.

              "We've discovered a biological principle, a healing mechanism that we can take advantage of, but it's still a long way to go before we can apply this to people. We are now confident that this is the avenue to pursue to uncover ways of restoring vision to thousands who have lost their sight."

              The study, published in the journal Nature, involved blind mice that were born without light-sensitive "photoreceptors", which detect light when it reaches the retina and send the appropriate signals to the brain via the optic nerve.

              Stem cells from the eyes of normal mouse foetuses were cultured in the laboratory before being transplanted to the eyes of the blind mice. Tests showed the stem cells developed into mature photoreceptors of the retina and could transmit signals to the brain.

              Previous attempts at transplanting stem cells to a damaged retina had failed, it is believed, because the cells were too immature. The key difference with the latest research is that stem cells were transplanted after they had already developed along the route to becoming photoreceptors, Mr MacLaren said.

              "We got them at the point of no return. It is the first time anyone has shown that it is possible to transfer photoreceptors successfully and timing was crucial," he said.

              The 100 million photoreceptors of the human retina are like the pixels of a 100-megapixel digital camera and they come in two forms * cone cells for seeing colour in daylight and rod cells for seeing black and white in low light.

              The study on the mouse only transferred rods * which are more common in mice, a nocturnal animal * so the scientists have yet to demonstrate that the technique will work with cones, the most important cells for discerning images at the centre of the human retina. It is hoped that to help people with age-related macular degeneration it may only be necessary to transplant the relatively small number of cones in the central part of the retina that are important for good daylight vision.

              In the mouse experiment, the scientists knew that the mice could see some light because their pupils contracted and dilated in response to differences in light intensity, showing that the brain was actively processing information from the eyes.

              "Remarkably we found that the mature retina, previously believed to have no capacity for repair, is in fact able to support the development of new functional photoreceptors," said Jane Sowden of the Institute of Ophthalmology at University College London (UCL).

              Professor Robin Ali of UCL said that in future human clinical trials it may be possible to use embryonic stem cells, or even adult stem cells from within a patient's own eye, for the first transplant operations.

              Mr MacLaren said that one obvious advantage of using a patient's own stem cells for the operation was that it would avoid the complication of tissue rejection.

              Professor Anand Awaroop of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, who collaborated on the study, said the findings may lead to new ways of treating other diseases of the central nervous system.

              "Rather than focusing on stem cells, we believed that if we could understand how cells develop and become photoreceptors or any other specific neuron our transplantation efforts would meet with greater success," Professor Awaroop said. "This technique gives us new insights in repairing damage to the retina and possibly other parts of the central nervous system," he said.

              How sight is lost

              * Macular degeneration affects about 500,000 people in the UK.

              * The macula is at the centre of the retina, where the light is focused, and is essential for reading and writing and seeing colour.

              * In affected individuals, delicate cells at the centre of the macula stop working for unknown reasons.

              * Most cases are of the slow-progressing dry kind; there is no treatment.

              * Wet macular degeneration is faster and affects 27,000 new patients a year.

              * Most of these patients can now be helped by laser treatment, photodynamic therapy or drugs.

              * Most patients pay for drugs because the National Institute for Clinical Excellence is not due to issue guidance on their NHS use until autumn next year.

              Stem-cell transfer breakthrough raises hopes for blindness cure


              • #8
                Excellent thread, it made this group famous now. It will take quite some time to "finetune" this method for higher vertebrates, and in the end, humans.
                its hopeful


                • #9
                  Stem cells show some heart

                  Scientists at Zurich University have for the first time grown human heart valves using stem cells from the amniotic fluid that cushions babies in the womb.

                  This revolutionary approach could be used to repair defective hearts and could overcome the ethical dilemmas connected to stem cell use.

                  The news follows recent successes at growing bladders and blood vessels and suggests that people may one day be able to grow their own replacement heart parts – in some cases before they are even born.

                  The idea behind the Zurich experiment is to create the new valves in the lab while the pregnancy progresses and have them ready to implant in a baby after birth.

                  "If you have to wait for the baby to arrive to collect cells, it takes another six to eight weeks before a valve is ready to implant, which is often too late," Dr Simon Hoerstrup, the university's head of cardiovascular surgery research, told swissinfo.

                  It is one of several tissue-engineering advances that could lead to individualised infant and adult heart valves which are more durable and effective than artificial or cadaver valves.

                  Hoerstrup says amniotic stem cells have proven to be the easiest to collect in sufficient numbers to grow a heart valve.

                  The cells are attached to biodegradable scaffolding with the shape of a valve and left to develop in an environment that mimics body conditions.


                  Hoerstrup, who presented the research this week at an American Heart Association conference in Chicago, said that besides heart valves, this stem cell therapy might be used to repair blood vessels or patch up holes in the heart's ventricular wall.

                  One per cent of all newborns – more than a million babies born worldwide each year – have heart problems.

                  Valve defects can be detected with ultrasound tests at about 20 weeks of pregnancy. While doctors prefer to repair defective valves, there are many cases were replacement is the only solution, said Hoerstrup.

                  Conventional procedures to fix faulty valves also have drawbacks. Artificial valves are prone to blood clots and patients must take anti-clotting drugs for life, while valves from human cadavers or animals can deteriorate, requiring more surgery to replace them.

                  That is especially true in children, because these valves don't grow along with the body.


                  The Swiss procedure has another advantage. Using cells the foetus sheds in amniotic fluid avoids controversy because it doesn't involve destroying embryos to get stem cells.

                  "This is the ethical advantage of our approach," Hoerstrup said. "We use adult stem cells that belong to the baby. You take cells from the amniotic fluid without harming the unborn child and there is no sacrifice of an embryo."

                  Hoerstrup said amniotic stem cells also can be frozen for years and potentially could be used to create replacement parts for aging or diseased valves in adults, too.

                  "I would not necessarily recommend storing samples systematically, but I would suggest that women who have undergone genetic testing have anything remaining from the samples frozen," he said.

                  The research is still preliminary, and experts say implanting tissue-engineered valves in human hearts is likely to be years away.

                  Stem cells show some heart


                  • #10
                    Stem cell research

                    A bridge next to Kevin Eggan's laboratory overlooks one of the most concentrated square miles of scientific fire power in the world: North Yard, the science hub of Harvard. The bridge, a recent construction in glass and steel, was intended to facilitate collaboration between two research teams.

                    On one side is the lab run by Dr Eggan, an assistant professor of molecular and cellular biology who specialises in human embryonic stem cell research; on the other is the Bauer Centre for Genome Research, which focuses on genes.

                    Working together, the teams started devising projects to analyse the genetics of human embryonic stem cells, with Dr Eggan's team generating the cells on one side of the bridge and their DNA being analysed on the other side.
                    But on August 9 2001 a metaphorical shutter came down that closed the bridge as effectively as if it had been bricked up. George Bush issued a presidential decree banning the use of federal funds for research on new human embryonic stem cell lines.

                    He delighted anti-abortionists and the Christian right, who oppose what they see as scientists making life and death decisions. This is despite the fact that most stem cell lines derive from surplus fertilised eggs from IVF treatment that would be destroyed in any case.

                    Dr Eggan and his team were able to carry on their work only because Harvard was committed to it and wealthy enough to fund it privately. But overnight, the ban turned them into the equivalent of dogs suspected of carrying rabies. Everything they did or touched, from high-tech equipment down to paperclips and the electricity used in the building, had to be quarantined from federally funded labs around them.

                    The joint project between the Eggan lab and the Bauer Centre was an immediate casualty. It was suspended to avoid "contamination" with the centre, which does receive federal funds.


                    Over the past five years the imperative of segregating all stem cell research has created a jumble of red tape. This has allowed collaboration to restart, but at a price. In the Eggan lab each piece of equipment is marked with a sticker: green for privately funded machines that can be freely used; red for those bought by the National Institutes of Health, the federal funding body, which must not be used in stem cell research.

                    The most Kafkaesque is the yellow sticker. This is applied to equipment that is federally owned but where a deal has been reached: whenever a scientist uses the machine they record it in a book and the NIH is reimbursed.

                    In one room there are two cryostats, used to prepare tissue for the microscope, standing side by side. One has a green sticker, the other red. Someone has put a label above the red machine, showing Mr Bush pointing straight out and saying: "You there! No human ES cell sectioning on this machine!"

                    For Dr Eggan, a young scientist of 32 who is itching to get on with research, the result has been agony and frustration: "I've spent the last three years of my life trying to get this sorted. At least a third of my time is still spent keeping the accounts and equipment separate."

                    No one yet knows where stem cell studies might lead, but most experts in the field believe there is huge potential for discovering new ways of treating diseases including diabetes, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, or the cruel wasting disease spinal muscular atrophy.

                    Embryonic stem cells are the basic building blocks created when an egg is fertilised. About 100 cells cluster to form a ball known as a blastocyst, and at this stage each cell is capable of turning into any organ or tissue of the body. In Dr Eggan's laboratory, the computers show stem cells that have just transformed themselves into heart cells, pulsating under the microscope.

                    The Holy Grail for researchers is to control that process so that cells can be instructed to turn into different parts of the body. That could allow more accurate and humane ways of testing drugs on diseased cells grown in Petri dishes rather than on patients, and pave the way for a new generation of medicines.

                    None of this can be realised, scientists say, unless there is concerted and collaborative effort, with the US as the world's research engine. "This work is so hard and so in its infancy that to be counting paperclips because of a federal injunction is, to put it politely, unfortunate," said Susan Solomon, chief executive of the New York Stem Cell Foundation, a privately funded research body.

                    The Bush administration has sought to disarm criticism by allowing experiments to go ahead on supplies of cells created before the decree was issued in 2001. But, beside what some scientists point to as questionable logic, several of these "presidential lines" have proved faulty or been contaminated by being grown in animal culture. As a result, stem cell research in the US is now largely confined to a small number of prestigious establishments such as Harvard and the New York foundation, which can pull in sufficient private money to generate their own lines.

                    Other institutions, more dependent on federal funding, have been dissuaded from entering the field.

                    Paul Nurse is the president of the Rockefeller University in New York, which has seven Nobel laureates. Like Harvard it has the private funds to support stem cell research, but he is aware of several institutions unable to take the risk. "In theory if we used one plastic test-tube bought with just one cent of federal money for stem cell research we could jeopardise our entire research programme of $100m (£52m). That has created a climate of fear," he said.

                    The worst effect of the ban, he believes, is that it is pushing away a generation of young scientists. He knows people who have been inhibited from taking on stem cell research because of the bureaucracy.

                    Scientists' hopes are focused on the incoming Democrats who take control of Congress in January. But with a majority of two-thirds needed to overturn a presidential decree, Mr Bush is likely to be able to block any attempt to lift the ban. Few expect any change until he leaves the White House in two years' time. Until then Dr Eggan and his colleagues will carry on wrestling with their stickers and double accounting.

                    Gains could be huge

                    Stem cells can divide to produce a variety of cell types, such as those in the blood or brain. The most useful to scientists are embryonic stem cells, from human embryos that are a few days old. These cells go on to produce every cell and tissue type in the body.

                    It is this ability that has scientists so excited. Already adult stem cells are used in, for example, bone marrow transplants for leukaemia, and if the power of stem cells to grow new tissues can be harnessed, doctors might be able to treat diseases such as Alzheimer's by using stem cells to replace missing structures in the brain. One day it might even be possible to regrow limbs or organs.

                    These clinical applications are a long way off. In the short term, studying embryonic cells will help scientists understand how structures in the body are formed and how congenital diseases develop. That could lead to treatments. Drugs will be tested on stem cells that mimic features of genetic diseases, so fewer animals will be used.

                    Progress is being made. A recent study published in the journal Nature successfully tested a stem cell treatment for muscular dystrophy in dogs. The researchers are next moving on to human trials.

                    The 'untouchables' of U.S. science


                    • #11
                      Stem cells discovered in amniotic fluid

                      Stem cell researchers reacted with enthusiasm and reservations to a report that scientists have found stem cells in amniotic fluid, a discovery that would allow them to sidestep the controversy over destroying embryos for research.

                      Researchers at Wake Forest University and Harvard University reported Sunday that the stem cells they drew from amniotic fluid donated by pregnant women hold much the same promise as embryonic stem cells.

                      They reported they were able to extract the stem cells from the fluid, which cushions babies in the womb, without harm to mother or fetus and turn their discovery into several different tissue cell types, including brain, liver and bone.

                      But Dr. Anthony Atala, head of Wake Forest's regenerative medicine institute and the senior researcher on the project, said the scientists still don't know exactly how many different cell types can be made from the stem cells found in amniotic fluid. The scientists said preliminary tests in patients are years away.

                      The cells from amniotic fluid "can clearly generate a broad range of important cell types, but they may not do as many tricks as embryonic stem cells," said Dr. Robert Lanza, chief scientist at the stem cell company Advanced Cell Technology. "Either way, I think this work represents a giant step forward for stem cell research."

                      Dr. George Daley, a Harvard University stem cell researcher, said the finding raises the possibility that someday expectant parents can freeze amnio stem cells for future tissue replacement in a sick child without fear of immune rejection.

                      Nonetheless, Daley said, the discovery shouldn't be used as a replacement for human embryonic stem cell research.

                      "While they are fascinating subjects of study in their own right, they are not a substitute for human embryonic stem cells, which allow scientists to address a host of other interesting questions in early human development," said Daley, who began work last year to clone human embryos to produce stem cells.

                      Atala said the research reported in the scientific journal Nature Biotechnology expands far beyond similar work.

                      At a heart research conference in November, Swiss researcher Simon Hoerstrup said he managed to turn amniotic fluid stem cells into heart cells that could be grown into replacement valves. Hoerstrup has yet to publish his work in a scientific journal.

                      "Our hope is that these cells will provide a valuable resource for tissue repair and for engineered organs as well," Atala said.

                      It took Atala's team some seven years of research to determine the cells they found were truly stem cells that "can be used to produce a broad range of cells that may be valuable for therapy."

                      Atala said the new research has found even more promising stem cells with the potential to turn into many more medically useful replacement parts.

                      "We have other cell lines cooking," Atala said.

                      The hallmark of human embryonic stem cells, which are created in the first days after conception, is the ability to turn into any of the more than 220 cell types that make up the human body. Researchers are hopeful they can train these primordial cells to repair damaged organs in need of healthy cells.

                      However, many people, including President Bush, oppose the destruction of embryos for any reason. The Bush administration has restricted federal funding for the embryo work since 2001, leading many scientists to search for alternative stem cell sources.

                      The advance is the latest in the so-called regenerative medicine field that has sprung from Atala's lab in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

                      In April, Atala and his colleagues rebuilt bladders for seven young patients using live tissue grown in the lab.

                      In the latest work, Atala's team extracted a small number of stem cells swimming among the many other cell types in the amniotic fluid.

                      One of the more promising aspects of the research is that some of the DNA of the amnio stem cells contained Y chromosomes, which means the cells came from the babies rather than the pregnant moms.

                      Stem cells discovered in amniotic fluid


                      • #12


                        • #13
                          VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican on Tuesday welcomed a new way of extracting stem cells that does not use human embryos, calling it a significant advance that could help medical research without going against Roman Catholic beliefs.

                          Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, head of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care, said the discovery showed medicine can progress without destroying human embryos.

                          U.S. researchers reported on Sunday that stem cells found in the amniotic fluid protecting babies in the womb were nearly as powerful as embryonic stem cells in producing adaptable cells that scientists hope can someday transform medicine.

                          The Catholic Church and other religious groups have been staunch critics of the most common method of stem cell research, which involves extracting cells from human embryos, because they believe such organisms are humans from the moment of conception.

                          "I am very glad to see this progress in the field of science for the good of humankind," Barragan told Vatican Radio on Tuesday, noting it did not violate "the life of the donor."

                          In an interview with the Italian daily La Stampa on Monday, he called the discovery "a very significant and ethically admissible advance" in the search for cells that can create muscle, bone and other cells to replace damaged ones.

                          Barragan said the Vatican was not opposed to all stem cell research. "The Church is not obscurantist and is always ready to welcome real scientific progress that neither threatens nor manipulates the sources of life," he said.

                          "Our task as a church is not to oppose the oratory (that is, faith) and the laboratory (or rather, science), nor to transform science into faith," he said.

                          Vatican welcomes new stem cell advance


                          • #14
                            Surgeons at a Madrid hospital claim to be the first to use stem cells from a patient's fat tissue - extracted through liposuction - to treat the patient's heart. The patient, a 67-year-old man suffering from angina and damaged coronary arteries, was recovering at home yesterday after undergoing the five-hour procedure last week.

                            "It's a medical milestone," Francisco Fernandez-Aviles, chief cardiologist at Gregorio Marañon hospital, said yesterday. "The patient is fine."

                            Plastic surgeons first performed liposuction on the patient's abdomen to remove the fat and extract and purify the stem cells. Heart surgeons then injected the stem cells into the heart, where doctors hope they will turn into additional heart muscle and blood vessels.

                            The fat cells were chosen for the procedure because they do not need to be cultivated for three weeks before use, as do stem cells from bone marrow.

                            Spain claims stem cell first


                            • #15
                              SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 17 (UPI) -- State funds have begun flowing to embryonic stem-cell research in California for the first time since voters approved public funding for the research in 2004.

                              Using a state loan, the voter-created California Institute for Regenerative Medicine Friday distributed nearly $45 million in grants to 20 California institutions, as the state took its next step in stem-cell research, the Los Angeles Times reported.

                              Proposition 71, the Stem Cell Research and Cures Act, authorized $300 million annually for embryonic stem-cell research funding, but the bonds are held up due to litigation.

                              Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger Friday announced the first grants under the program, using a $150 million state loan he arranged last year - on the day President George W. Bush vetoed legislation that would have relaxed federal restrictions on the research.

                              "We can't afford to wait when it comes to advancing a life-saving science," Schwarzenegger said.

                              "We all know every marathon starts with a first step," the governor said. "But let's take that first step. Let's start the marathon. Let's not hold it up."

                              California begins stem cell research


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