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Robert Trigaux

Scripps Research creates mice from skin cells, but in California -- with Florida funding?



Govjebbushscrippspitch2003apRumblings on the Florida biotech front... Maybe that staggering half billion dollars used by then-Gov. Jeb Bush to lure Scripps Research Institute to Jupiter on the east coast and spur a state biotech industry is showing some initial payback?

Not quite yet.

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have created healthy adult mice out of mouse skin cells -- no sperm, no egg. Just skin. The feat, described in the scientific journal Nature on Monday, was intended to prove that adult cells can be reprogrammed backward in their development, until they have all the desirable characteristics of embryonic stem cells.Two Chinese groups reported the same findings on Monday, using slightly different methods.Observers said it was remarkable and promising news for the future of stem cell research. Read more details from this story in the Palm Beach Post.

As shown in the photograph, in 2003 Florida Gov. Bush talked to a joint session of the Florida Legislature in Tallahassee outlining the Scripps Florida investment opportunity. The legislature was in special session to approve $310 million (to be later supplemented to total $500 million) needed to bring an arm of California-based Scripps Research Institute to Palm Beach County. (AP Photo/Phil Coale)

Alas, the mice research took place at Scripps' La Jolla campus in San Diego, but the Post says it was funded, in part, with grants from two Palm Beach foundations, the Whitehall Foundation and the O'Keeffe family.

Glad we could ante up some precious Florida scientific bucks to make a breakthrough -- in California. What's up with that?

-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist

[Last modified: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 11:25am]


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