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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

(Nanowerk Spotlight) Regenerative medicine is an area in which stem cells hold great promise for overcoming the challenge of limited cell sources for

With supporters of a state constitutional amendment to expand stem cell research in Michigan spending $2 million to garner nearly 600,000 signatures, experts predict spending on advocacy and education for and against the measure could easily multiply that number five-fold or more.So far, two Lansing firms are representing opponents and supporters of the amendment.The Rossman Group represents the pro-stem cell amendment group, Stem Cell Ballot Question Committee, which includes A. Alfred Taubman, the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, Michigan Paralyzed Veterans of America and the Southeast Michigan chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.Opposing is The Marketing Research Group, which represents Michigan Citizens Against Unrestricted Science and Experimentation, which includes the Michigan Catholic Conference and Right to Life of Michigan.David Doyle, MRG's chief political consultant, said the group has just begun to raise money and will name co-chairs and other member groups later this month.“We don't have a budget or a plan for mail, TV or radio, though we expect to do all of the above,” said Doyle.Larry Owen, chairman of the stem cell committee, said the campaign hopes to raise $10 million to $20 million to educate the public about benefits of stem cell research.However, at this early stage, MI-CAUSE is thought to have more funds readily available. The deepest pocket is the Catholic Conference, which has pegged defeating the amendment as its No. 1 legislative priority.Starbucks closures spare one Detroit storeA Starbucks employee said all but one of the company-owned stores in downtown Detroit will be closing. The source said the first is slated to close next month with the remaining stores closing by March. Spared will be the store at Mack and Woodward.The closings are part of Starbucks' plan to rid itself of 600 underperforming stores nationwide.Joe Dallaqua, regional vice president of Starbucks' Great Lakes and New England declined to comment.Watermark units get biggerBack to the drawing boards can be a good thing, industrialist-turned-developer Dave Bing says of an advanced design unveiling at Watermark Detroit scheduled July 20, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.“We responded to potential customers' demands for more space and better views in reconfiguring The Watermark,” Bing said of his riverfront condominium project on Atwater Street between St. Aubin and Chene streets, east of the Renaissance Center.“People moving from large homes of 3,000 or 4,000 square feet need more than the 1,600 square feet we were offering,” Bing said.Instead of 112 units, the complex now will have 98, including eight penthouses averaging between 2,400 and 2,900 square feet, he said. Two ninth-floor penthouses originally planned sold immediately.Prices are $305 a square foot, or about $762,500 for a 2,500-square-foot unit.An area set for marina homes averaging 2,400 square feet has been redesigned for eight units ranging from 3,000 to 3,400 square feet each.“So far, 28 units have been sold, and seven more units are in negotiation and near closing,” Bing said.Groundbreaking will come soon after 55 to 60 units are sold, with completion expected in 20 to 24 months, he said. Changes can be seen at www.water for potential downtown tenantsDetroit Office Inc., the nonprofit formed to promote Detroit as an office location, will host its first open-house event at 4:30 p.m. July 23 at 211 W. Fort St.In addition to building tours, the event will include networking and free tours of the Central Business District courtesy of Inside Detroit. Detroit Office expects to host three more events this year.

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