Posted at 2:27 PM on July 30, 2006
by Tom Scheck
Mike Hatch says he wants to invest $10 million/year for ten years on embryonic stem cell research at the University of Minnesota. He says Minnesota has been a leader in medical research but is worried the state is losing its footing. He says embryonic stem research shows promise in creating medical advances in treating Parkinson's Disease, cancer and diabetes. Embryonic stem research is controversial because some believe its immoral to harvest cells that have been created from human embryos. Hatch argues that many of those embryos would be discarded because they're currently being stored in fertility clinics.
Stem cell research has nothing to do with abortion. "Stem research, you're talking about six days, four days of development. You're talking about a cell that's going to be destroyed. These embryonic cells that are sitting at fertility clinics right now that are frozen and discarded by the donors will be destroyed. The issue is are you going to use those cells to cure life.
Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty's campaign manager, Michael Krueger issued a statement saying:
While the Governor feels research should utilize stem cells derived from adults or discarded umbilical cords, the Governor also supports research using certain existing stem cell lines derived from embryos that are no longer able to produce life. Krueger said Pawlenty believes President Bush and Congress should authorize a limited number of such additional stem cell lines for research, but that additional authorization should be subject to tight controls and limits because of the moral and ethical issues involved.
Stem cell research is a big issue. In fact, it's this week's cover story in Time Magazine.
Speaking of medical research, it looks like Medicare is thinking about putting the clamps on funding for medical devices. The Pi Press has that story.
The St. Paul paper also has an interesting story on how political candidates are caught in the middle of showcasing their families for political gain but get angry when they're actions are in the news.
Former Senator Dave Durenberger, a Minnesota Republican who runs a national health policy forum, said, ''The doughnut hole could have negative repercussions for Republicans in the November midterm elections.''
Democrats hope that is the case. The coverage gap is ''a goofy idea,'' said Senator Byron L. Dorgan, Democrat of North Dakota.
The Star Tribune's Rob Hotakainen writes about the D, M and E railroad. I would link to the story on the Star Tribune site but I can't find it. I also couldn't find Rochelle Olson's story on the differences among the DFL candidates running in Minnesota's Fifth Congressional District. Guess that will fill the Monday digest.
Finally, WCCO's Pat Kessler highlights the political stories of the week here:
On to the next week. Stay cool...