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Calif. makes first stem-cell grants

Sept. 10, 2005 at 9:22 PM

SACRAMENTO, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- California has awarded its first grants for embryonic stem-cell research even though a bond issue to fund the program has been delayed by legal challenges.

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine was created last year after voters approved Proposition 71, which authorized $3 billion to be raised through state bonds. The Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee selected 16 universities and research institutes for initial grants totaling $39 million to be used to train scientists, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Robert Klein, who heads the institute, has asked foundations to provide the initial funding, promising repayment once the bond issue goes through.

A coalition of anti-abortion and anti-tax groups is seeking to block the funding.

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