Higher-education officials nationwide are anticipating a gradual thaw of President Bush's stem-cell policies aimed at restricting unfettered research, a week after Michigan voters approved a ballot measure that will loosen restrictions on embryonic stem-cell study at the state's research universities.

Michigan voters approved the stem-cell ballot initiative Nov. 4 with 53 percent of the vote, after groups from both sides of the issue spent nearly $10 million in an often testy campaign this year. The measure will allow the University of Michigan's Center for Stem Cell Biology, among other state programs, to create stem-cell lines from human embryos that would have


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