Private donors give $100 million to stem cell research

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Nearly three years ago California voters approved a $3 billion bond for embryonic stem cell research. Yet state dollars are tied up in lawsuits bolstered by the religious right (more on the lawsuits and other states’ efforts to fund research on new stem cell lines here).

Today the Wall Street Journal reports that private donors have contributed more than $100 million to the state’s new stem-cell research agency, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, as well as to research programs at state universities.

Donors include Ray Dolby, of Dolby Laboratories Inc., who has given $21 million and Eli Broad, real estate magnate and philanthropist, who has given at least $27 million. Venture capitalist John Doerr, bond-fund manager Bill Gross, and Qualcomm Inc. founder Irwin Jacobs have also been major contributors.

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