Blago Donates Your Money To Stem Cell Research
By Sam Bakken in News on Jul 13, 2005 6:50PM
Yesterday Gov. Gonad made Illinois the fourth state in the nation and the only state in the Midwest to allocate public funds for stem cell research. He signed an executive order directing the Illinois Department of Public Health to create the Illinois Regenerative Medicine Institute. The IRMI will give $10 million in grants to medical research facilities for the study of adult, cord blood and embryonic stem cells. A similar bill stalled in the state legislature in May.
Currently adult bone marrow stem cells aid in the treatment of some cancers (like leukemia and lymphoma). The potential treatments stem cells could provide seem endless, but scientists won't know for sure until they can study them unhindered by some current regulations. Scientists say stem cell research could lead to cures for diabetes, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and spinal cord injuries among other diseases. While we think the new funding is great, especially in light of the restrictions G-Dubs put on embryonic stem cell research in 2001, we think Blago may have ulterior motives. Some scientists say that stem cell research could be used to treat baldness, and we all know how concerned the Gonad is with his coiffure. He knows that plume won't last forever.
The media have latched on to the fact that G-Rod created the IMRI with money from the state budget that many legislators didn't know was set aside for that purpose. According to the Trib, the money was added to the Illinois Department of Public Health's budget and only labeled "for scientific research". Many of the papers quote angry republican legislators. But as Rich Miller points out on his Capitol Fax blog, not one republican voted for the state budget and pro-life democrats would probably provide more interesting quotes.