Science  27 Jul 2007:
Vol. 317, Issue 5837, pp. 439
  1. Stem Cell Research, China Style

    1. Hao Xin

    BEIJING—China is hoping to make up lost ground fast on stem cell research. Sources say Beijing plans to spend roughly $1 billion over 10 years to establish an international center for stem cell research and regenerative medicine.

    Six U.S.-based Chinese scientists—including Xiangzhong Yang of the University of Connecticut, Storrs, and Ray Wu of Cornell University—proposed the center in a letter to the government last September. Yang argues that China can soon reach the vanguard in stem cell research because the country is not encumbered by religious concerns about cells derived from embryos. “The challenge now is to find the right people,” adds Wu. An official at China's Ministry of Science and Technology declined to confirm approval of the center, which has not been made public, but he says details are being worked out and the center would be under the ministry. The center would carry out both basic and clinical research, with the ultimate goal of developing therapies, Yang envisions.

  2. U.S.-India Deal Nears

    1. Pallava Bagla

    NEW DELHI—India's time in the nuclear doghouse may soon be over. After 2 years of sometimes tortuous negotiations, India and the United States have reached agreement on a landmark nuclear pact. The proposed deal would allow India to purchase equipment and fuel for its civilian nuclear program, ending 3 decades of isolation after India exploded a nuclear device in 1974. Talks hit an impasse last spring over issues such as India's demand to reprocess spent fuel (Science, 25 May, p. 1112). But after negotiation last week in Washington, D.C., the two sides released a joint statement noting that “the issue” has been referred to the two governments for “final review.”

    Details of the agreement remain closely held, but top Indian nuclear scientists say that India has offered to set up a $100 million plant for reprocessing spent fuel provided by the United States and make the plant subject to inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to monitor the potential diversion of extracted plutonium. The deal also avoids an automatic nuclear fuel embargo if India were to conduct a future nuclear test, a previous sticking point. If the two governments sign off on the agreement, IAEA and the international Nuclear Suppliers Group will then weigh respective accords on protecting nuclear materials and commerce with India.