Last night I came across a cool website that highlighted a contest announced by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM).  The winners of the 2008 stem cell image contest have just been announced.

The winning images range from
a whirling galaxy of developing nerve cells to a moonscape of retinal
pigment epithelial cells, both derived from human embryonic stem cells you can see more on the website, including beautiful photos like this one, which they have uploaded to Flickr for viewing:


The institute was established in 2005 with the passage of Proposition 71, the
California Stem Cell Research and Cures Act:

"The statewide ballot
measure, which provided $3 billion in funding for stem cell research at
California universities and research institutions, was overwhelmingly
approved by voters, and called for the establishment of an entity to
make grants and provide loans for stem cell research, research
facilities, and other vital research opportunities.  To date, the CIRM
governing board has approved 279 research and facility grants totaling
more than $693 million, making CIRM the largest source of funding for
human stem cell research in the world."

A smart approach by Californians, and a good idea of CIRM to keep members of the public updated on progress with the research and how the dollars are spent.  If only the finance and banking industry was as open and forthcoming with transparency 😉

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