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Edwards vows broadening of stem cell research

From Elaine Quijano and Ted Barrett
CNN Washington Bureau

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• Day One:  On tap Monday
John Edwards
America Votes 2004

RALEIGH, North Carolina (CNN) -- Sen. John Edwards told a group of health-care technology professionals Monday that a Kerry-Edwards administration would permit more stem-cell research than is allowed under the Bush administration.

During a town hall meeting in North Carolina's technology corridor known as the "Research Triangle," Edwards said he and Sen. John Kerry believe more work needs to be done to help find cures for diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's and treatments for spinal cord injuries.

"We believe there's more work that can be done in stem cell research that's not being done," he said.

President Bush's policy was limited to 16 adult stem cell lines, some of which have died out.

Edwards' comments come a day before Ron Reagan, son of the late president, is scheduled to speak on the topic at the Democratic National Convention. (Special Report: America Votes 2004, the Democratic convention)

President Reagan died last month after a decade-long battle with Alzheimer's disease.

An aide said the Kerry-Edwards campaign supports cloning of embryonic stem cells for therapeutic research but opposes human cloning.

"There's obvious limits on what can be done," Edwards said, "but at the edges, it's one of those things where we have to make difficult judgments about how far we can go and where the restrictions belong."

During his remarks, the senator also spoke about the need for less reliance on Middle East oil, and he pushed for greater access to broadband technology to help stop American jobs from moving overseas.

The senator was originally scheduled to make a second appearance Monday in Greensboro, North Carolina, but aides said the event was canceled so he could rest his voice.

While they denied Edwards was having any throat trouble, the senator's voice sounded strained and raspy at times during his half-hour appearance Monday morning in Raleigh.

In addition to the health-care event, the senator was interviewed via satellite by several television stations across the country, including ones in Portland, Oregon; St. Louis, Missouri; Seattle, Washington; and Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Edwards is scheduled to deliver his acceptance speech Wednesday at the Democratic National Convention. Aides said he will spend Monday afternoon working on it.

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