By Matthew S.L. Cate, Staff Writer
ATLANTA Having been stripped of a ban on a type of controversial embryonic stem cell research, legislation to expand the availability of materials used to cultivate adult stem cells unanimously passed the Senate today.
The bill seeks to establish a tissue bank at one of the states public universities. A state commission would oversee the bank, which would collect umbilical cords, placental tissue and other birth-related material used to derive the cells.
The bill now goes to the House.
Scientists believe the cure to debilitating neuromuscular diseases and injuries can be found in the use of stem cells. Some scientists believe the best hope lies in research using cells derived from destroyed embryos or embryo-like tissues.
The legislation, sought by Sen. David Shafer, R-Duluth, originally included a measure that criminalized a procedure used to create new lines of embryonic stem cells. But he later agreed to remove that provision out because it threatened to derail the bill.