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China looks to expand stake in stem cell technology

April 13, 2009
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According to Reuters, China’s health minister has announced plans to build Asia''s biggest base to develop uses for stem cell medical technology. Stem cell techniques use the body''s master cells to create new cells that medical researchers hope can be used to fight diseases and heal injuries. Chinese Health Minister Chen Zhu said his country could become a leader in finding uses for the technology. China is looking to expand its stake in this increasingly competitive area, where it has few of the regulatory controls and controversies that have constrained research elsewhere. Former U.S. President George W. Bush and some religious conservatives have opposed the use of stem cells taken from human embryos. But U.S. President Barack Obama has reversed Bush''s policy that virtually froze federal funding for stem cell research using embryonic samples. China''s base will be in Taizhou, an area of Jiangsu with many medical and pharmaceutical businesses, and will cover 20,000 square meters and include a clinic, said the report. There was not an estimate for when the project would be completed. Singapore is also looking to emerge as a regional center for the technology.
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