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Lead Into Gold: Al Gore to Fund IPSCs

Posted Apr 16 2009 12:10am
Al Gore is set to head a venture capital foray into the very promising field of induced pluripotent stem cell research. From the story:

Former vice president Al Gore is entering the stem cell arena with an announcement today of a $20 million biotech venture in the hot area of "induced pluripotent" stem cells. Induced cells are attracting interest from researchers and biotech firms as an alternative to embryonic stem cells. Induced cells are made by inserting four genes into ordinary skin cells, and they offer a new path for "regenerative" medical treatments.

"I just think it's a very important breakthrough that is filled with promise and hope," says Gore, a partner with the venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, which is backing the research. "I think this is one of those good news stories that comes along every once in a while."
Too bad President Obama doesn't see it the same way: He revoked President Bush's executive order that would have required that promising areas of "alternatives" (to ESC) research, such as IPSCs, receive federal funding.

I could make a lame joke about Gore adding to carbon emissions by the lights that will be left on by these researchers and the emissions they will cause when driving to work, but I'll let it pass. (Isn't that snarky? I made the joke but pretended I didn't. I hate that!) Gore sees a real chance to make money in this field and he is grabbing it.

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