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Jan 18, 2012

CIRM to Put $40M into Stem Cell Genomic Centers

  • The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine’s (CIRM) governing board approved spending $40 million to fund one or two Stem Cell Genomics Centers of Excellence in California. The aim is to create genomics resources for California scientists who might otherwise not have access to such resources.

    “Access to genomics tools will give California researchers unprecedented opportunities for better understanding the cells they are working with and advancing those cells toward therapies for patients,” says CIRM president, Alan Trounson, who has been increasing CIRM’s focus on clinical development. “We expect these centers will lead California into the next generation of cell biology and medical applications, leveraging the incredible advances evolving from advances in human genomics.”

    The governing board is also discussing recommendations for strategies to reach the objectives set forth in CIRM’s draft of a strategic plan for the next five years. The final version of the strategy will be presented to the governing board at a March meeting.

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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