Washington (CNN) - Thirteen new human embryonic stem cell lines have been approved for use in federally funded research - the first to be approved under an executive order from President Obama - the National Institutes of Health announced Wednesday.
Under the administration of President George W. Bush, federal funding for such research was limited to cell lines created before August 2001. Obama issued an executive order in March repealing that policy and ordering the NIH to adopt guidelines for the creation of new stem cell lines and their use.
"I am happy to say that we now have human embryonic stem cell lines eligible for use by our research community under our new stem cell policy," said NIH Director Francis Collins. "In accordance with the guidelines, these stem cell lines were derived from embryos that were donated under ethically sound informed consent processes. More lines are under review now, and we anticipate continuing to expand this list of responsibly derived lines eligible for NIH funding."
The NIH said 11 stem cell lines from a lab at Children's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, qualify for federal funding, as do two lines developed at New York's Rockefeller University.