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August 20, 2006

Singapore Acts as Haven for Stem Cell Research

Here is an article which shows how the lack of immigration reform is huttting the U.S. economy;

By Wayne Arnold, New York Times, published: August 17, 2006

"SINGAPORE, Aug. 16 — You can’t buy Wrigley’s Spearmint gum in Singapore. But human embryonic stem cells? That’s a different matter.
Last month a local company, ES Cell International, claimed to be the first company to commercially produce human embryonic stem cell lines in a way that makes them suitable for clinical trials. Researchers can buy vials of stem cells from ES Cell over the Internet for $6,000.

Singapore, notably conservative on most social issues — including a ban on most types of chewing gum — is emerging as a hotbed for stem cell research, thanks to liberal laws in that field and equally liberal government financing.

Lately the tiny island-state’s ambition of joining the ranks of Boston and the Bay Area as a biotech hub has been getting a hand from an unexpected quarter: the White House. Bush administration policies that restrict federal money for stem cell research have prompted an increasing number of top scientists to pack their bags and head for this equatorial city.

Two of America’s most prominent cancer researchers, Neal G. Copeland and Nancy A. Jenkins, are planning to arrive here next month to take posts at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology. The husband-and-wife team, who worked for 20 years at the National Cancer Institute in Maryland, said politics and budget cuts had left financing in the United States too hard to come by.
“We wanted to be in a place where they are excited by science and things are moving upward,” said Dr. Copeland, who said he and his wife had already rented a condominium near Singapore’s shopping district and had joined the local American Club.

Scientists say President Bush’s veto last month of legislation to raise limits on federal financing for stem cell research was the latest in a series of setbacks, which they say are stifling the research environment and eroding the edge in basic medical science that the United States has held since World War II".


Posted by VisaLawyer at August 20, 2006 07:06 AM


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