The California-based company behind a pioneering experiment at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta – studying whether human embryonic stem cells can be used to repair spinal injuries — announced Monday it would halt the research and focus on developing two cancer drugs.
Geron was the first company ever permitted to conduct embryonic stem cell tests on humans. From McClatchy-Tribune News Service:
Although the company has sufficient finances to cover its cancer-drug costs over the next 20 months without having to raise more money, it noted in a news release, “this would not be possible if we continue to fund the stem cell programs at the current levels.”
…Besides the spinal research, Geron had been studying human embryonic stem cells as possible treatments for such ailments as diabetes, heart disease and cartilage repair. The company said it would attempt to seek “partners” to continue the research and “will retain a core group of employees from its stem cell operations” through the first half of next year to “facilitate transfer of these programs” to someone else.
The experiment at the Shepherd Center involved 21-year-old nursing student Timothy Atchison, who was paralyzed from the chest down after a car crash.
Gloria Cain, wife of GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain, was interviewed by Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren last night. See all the clips here. The primary topic was sexual harassment, but some good biographic information is included as well. The Cains’ first date was a Charlton Heston movie at Lenox Square.
This was how the Gloria Cain interview ended:
VAN SUSTEREN: After the first woman — but after the second woman, rather, when the more graphic descriptions came out — did you confront him about that one and say, what’s up with that, or not?
G. CAIN: No.
VAN SUSTEREN: Did he say anything to you?
G. CAIN: No. I heard his comments with his news conference.
VAN SUSTEREN: You didn’t ask him — you didn’t, the two of you when you were together you didn’t ask him?
G. CAIN: No, because I listened to what she said. And I’m thinking, no, I’m sorry. That’s — some of the things that you’re saying about him, that’s not Herman. So, no, I didn’t ask him about that. And I’m not being naive.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood should be on the ground now in Savannah, in the midst of a tour of the Port of Savannah with Gov. Nathan Deal and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. Both Georgians obviously will be pressing LaHood for several hundred million dollars for dredging the port – to allow it to take in larger cargo ships.
One topic unlikely to come up is U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss’ Monday declaration that Georgia might be willing to dicker about the federal government’s share in the project. From the Savannah Morning News:
U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss wants a second look at a formula calling for the federal government to pay 60 percent of Savannah harbor deepening costs.
“I think it’s incumbent … on the federal government to pay its fair share,” Chambliss told reporters Monday. “Now what is that … ? There might be a re-evaluation based on the financial climate we’re in.”
…A decade-old law calls for a 60 percent federal share of the estimated $625 million tab — or $372 million — and for the state to pay the rest, $253 million.
Jekyll Island Authority Chairman Bob Krueger doesn’t think much of the recent Georgia Lottery Corporation study of the money that might be generated from a casino on his island. From the Florida Times-Union:
“You’ve all seen the news about the Georgia Lottery Commission’s recommendation to have casino gambling on Jekyll Island,” Krueger said. “Well, the authority stands firm that there won’t be an increase in gambling beyond what currently exists — lottery tickets and maybe a few side bets on golf games.”
From an interview with convicted Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff by The Hill newspaper in D.C.:
Q: Do you continue to have relationships with Grover Norquist, Ralph Reed, Bob Ney, Tom DeLay, Mike Scanlon or any of the other people you worked closely with in the past?
Abramoff: Well, of that list, I’ve talked to Tom DeLay, and Scanlon’s in prison, so I can’t have any contact with him.
Bob Ney sent me a note on Facebook.
I haven’t had any contact with Grover, and Ralph Reed, I haven’t had any contact with.
The AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes a look at this Sept. 15 statement from U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Marietta:
“With an extra 8 million Americans projected to join state Medicaid programs in the next few years, state governments need the flexibility to make cost-saving reforms to Medicaid in order to balance their budgets.”
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider