More than a dozen stem cell lines were approved for research using taxpayer money, Wednesday, putting President Obama's controversial decision to lift the federal funding ban on such studies into action.
The National Institutes of Health gave the okay for 13 embryonic stem cell lines to be used for testing using tax dollars.
Last spring, Obama lifted former President George W. Bush's ban on federal funding for new stem cell research, saying the restriction did nothing but limit potentially life-saving studies.
NIH director Dr. Francis Collins said this is the first round of many stem cell lines that will be available to scientists.
"This is the first down payment," Collins said Wednesday as he opened a master registry. "People are champing at the bit for the opportunity to get started."
Another 116 lines are expected to be approved soon.