A few weeks ago CIRM grantee at UC Davis Paul Knoepfler wrote a blog entry distinguishing hype from hope in the stem cell research field. This is no small task. The hype in this field is incredible (as evidence, see all too many headlines on the topic). But then, so is the hope. CIRM was voted into existence by the 59% of Californians who had high hopes for therapies coming out of stem cell research.

Blood has been among the most sought after and hardest to achieve tissue that CIRM grantees are attempting to derive from embryonic stem cells. It's an obvious target. The medical system needs a constant influx of blood, which comes entirely from volunteer donors. Creating that blood in an unlimited supply from human embryonic stem cells would significantly ease concerns about blood shortages at hospitals.

A story by Nick Wade in Monday's New York Times rubbed some scientists the wrong way - and I must admit the piece was not too popular around CIRM headquarters.

Wade equated research funding with picking stocks. His idea is that a broad portfolio is bound to include some winners (he attributes this approach to the NIH and NSF) whereas attempts to only buy the big winners can produce a risky portfolio (an approach he attributes to CIRM).

Thanks to UC Davis stem cell scientist and CIRM grantee Paul Knoepfler for ferreting out the three judges who will preside over the September 27 D.C. Circuit Court hearing regarding the August 23 injunction on federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research.

In his blog entry, Knoepfler writes that of the three judges one is a Clinton appointee and two were appointed by Bush Jr.

They can't fund stem cell research...
They can...
They can't fund stem cell research...
They can..

For now. In the "He loves me; He loves me not" game of stem cell research funding, the current petal removed by the U.S. Court of Appeals puts funding for human embryonic stem cell research back within the pervue of the NIH. Today the court put a hold on Judge Royce Lamberth's ruling that effectively halted NIH funding of human embryonic stem cell research. Bloomberg wrote: