In 2004, California passed a $3 billion bond for stem cell research. The money was intended to circumvent President Bush's 2001 ban on federal funding of stem cell research, which limited the number of embryonic stem cell lines that could be tested.
The money was tied up in court for two years, but began to flow last year, sparking a research "gold rush" in California.
Dr. Irving Weissman, head of Stanford University's Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine and an early proponent of the bond, answered your questions about the prospects for stem cell research in California.
In 1988, Weissman became the first person to identify and isolate a stem cell, which he accomplished by isolating a blood-forming stem cell in mice. He now studies how stem cells contribute to cancer growth.