Stem Cells: Meanwhile, at the State Level: California Leads, but a Pack Follows

Meanwhile, at the state level of stem-cell research...

The lack of a federal policy on human embryonic-stem-cell research--beyond the Bush Administration's restrictions on funding--has left plenty of room for the states to seize the scientific initiative. But when they did--starting in 2002, when California and New Jersey became the first to extend explicit legal protection to such research--the result was a patchwork of laws that has paralyzed some entrepreneurs and galvanized others.

Some form of human embryonic-stem-cell research remains technically legal in almost every state. Only South Dakota bans it altogether, and most states simply have no relevant legislation. Seven states restrict research--including Michigan, which prohibits it on live embryos,...

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