Biotechnology research advocates, venture capitalists and disease advocacy groups in California have launched a ballot initiative that would require the state to raise $3 billion over 10 years for embryonic stem cell research (ESCR) and therapeutic cloning. 1 The ballot effort known as the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative was formed last year under the leadership of Dr. Lawrence Goldstein, a biologist at the University of California, San Diego. In April campaign organizers amassed one million signatures in support of the initiative, formally qualifying the measure for the November ballot as Proposition 71. Stem cells are the master cells of the human body from which all the 210 different kinds of tissue originate. 2 Many researchers believe that stem cells derived from human embryos hold the greatest promise for treating a multitude of diseases. 3 Because the harvesting of stem cells from embryos results in their destruction, obvious ethical issues are at stake. Is it wrong to destroy early human beings for research purposes? Does the promise of therapies for suffering postnatal humans justify such destruction? Wher
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