The Niche

Funds for building, paperwork for donating, tools for screening

Cheaper genome scanning

Next year, the cost of sequencing a human genome will fall to $5000, according to start-up Complete Genomics in a story in The New York Times. The start-up expects that individual people will be the chief customers, but I’d imaging those characterizing stem cell lines wouldn’t mind getting some additional data, both about the existing variety of stem cell lines and about how individual stem cell lines change genetically as they adapt to culture. (See our commentary on how to assess a stem cell genome.)

Paperwork for embryo donors

Besides providing more genetic diversity, newly derived embryonic stem cell lines could be derived and maintained under better conditions for culture and informed consent. While recent surveys show individuals are willing to donate unwanted frozen embryos for research, an article in The Los Angeles Times describes some of the paperwork burdens involved.

Private money for Stanford stem-cell building

Meanwhile, BusinessWire founder Lorry Lokey is giving $75 million to Stanford for a stem-cell facility, according to the San Jose Business Journal. In the article, the Stanford Graduate and entrepreneur compares stem cells to the silicon chip. The total cost of the building will be $200 million, of which $44 million is coming from tax-payer funded California Institute of Regenerative Medicine; the university and other contributors are supposed to foot the rest of the bill.

Also, here’s a story from the San Francisco Chronicle.

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