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A maestro in the Senate

Yesterday's five-hour Senate filibuster over stem cell research featured plenty of asides from lawmakers intent on keeping the discussion going.

Colleagues learned this, for instance, about Minority Whip Andrew P. Harris (R-Baltimore), who held court longer than any other member: "I like classical music. I don't have a chance to listen to it enough. ... My kids say, 'How can you listen to that? Classical music -- it all sounds the same.'"

The relevance to the debate, best we could tell, is that human embryos, like classical compositions, are actually all unique, notwithstanding the objection of Harris's kids. Opponents of the bill object to the research because it involves the destruction of a human embryo. Supporters counter that the bill limits research to those embryos that would otherwise be discarded by fertility clinics.

This morning, the Senate passed the bill, which allows Maryland to fund the research, a science supporters say holds great promise for treatment of a wide range of debilitating diseases.

By John Wagner  |  March 9, 2006; 9:12 AM ET
Categories:  General Assembly  
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