TENNESSEE, A STATE generally regarded as part of the southern Bible Belt, has in recent years produced a varied response to the evolving stem cell debate; a response that challenges preconceived notions concerning the state. A prominent example of these contrasting views was seen in the stand taken by Tennessee's former Republican Senate majority leader Bill Frist, who broke with President Bush over the issue of embryonic stem cell research. Frist's medical background as a transplant surgeon convinced him that the ability of embryonic stem cells to replicate and renew provides great potential opportunities for therapies that combat an assortment of serious diseases.

Furthermore, by allowing such research, America can stay in the forefront of medical advances that might well be undermined by funding restrictions on ...

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