Proposition 71

    From the discovery of penicillin to the development of more complex modern medical treatments, health care has come a long way, leading to increasingly long life expectancies and better overall health. Most of those advances were made in the United States as a result of the country’s large investment in basic scientific research, and if Americans desire continued advances in medical care, then supporting stem cell research is critical.

    While some may question the wisdom of the state going out of its way to support research during a budget crisis, the federal government’s unwillingness to fund stem cell research or allow new researchers to conduct research has shifted the burden of funding research to the states. With its elite research universities, California is also in a position to take full advantage of the $3 billion in state funding that Proposition 71 would provide. Needless to say, with one of the best biology programs in the world, UCSD would likely benefit from any program that would fund research in the biological sciences.

    Just as importantly, Proposition 71 would amend California’s Constitution to ensure the right to conduct stem cell research, an important move given the federal government’s current stance on the issue. Under current law, only researchers who were already conducting stem cell research when the Bush administration came into office are allowed to conduct further research. Proposition 71 would also create an oversight committee to supervise and regulate the funding to ensure that no research is done on cloning, which most voters are still against.

    Proposition 71 will help support important scientific research, with mechanisms to ensure that the funding is used in accordance with voters’ wishes. For continued advances in medical treatment that could potentially save millions of lives, vote “yes” on Proposition 71.

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