Stem cell breakthrough could mean biotech bucks for Bay Area

Paul Boutin · 11/23/07 08:39AM

Most passersby don't notice California Institute for Regenerative Medicine's austere signage tucked between Borders and Amici's on King Street, kitty-corner from the ballpark . And the San Francisco-based CIRM has struggled to turn its $3 billion in state funding into an active economic engine for the area. But a breakthrough by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (birthplace of The Onion) may enable mass production of stem cells from boring old skin cells, rather than by harvesting (read: killing) human embryos. There are still decades of research to be done before stem cells cure diseases. But this bodes well for the stable, science-driven future industry San Francisco leaders have long tried to jumpstart in Mission Bay.