.- Harvard University will launch the largest privately funded embryonic stem-cell research project to date, reported the Boston Sunday Globe.
The Harvard Stem Cell Institute, which will be launched at a scientific conference April 23, will fundraise about $100 million.
Embryonic stem-cell research has been the center of much debate and controversy in government and in the scientific community since it requires the destruction of human embryos, a procedure condemned by the Catholic Church and pro-life organizations.
President George W. Bush’s policy of limiting federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research based on ethical considerations has not prevented several U.S. universities from moving ahead with the research and raising private funding.
The University of Wisconsin, the University of Minnesota and the University of California at San Francisco have been financing the research privately. In 2002,
Stanford University received a $12-million donation to conduct cancer research by creating human embryonic stem-cell lines. Last week, the governor of New Jersey said the state would give Rutgers University $6.5 million for embryonic stem-cell research.