Obama OKs 11 New Human Stem Cell Lines
NIH authorizes 11 new lines, promises more to come
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2009 1:08 PM CST
In this March 9, 2009 file photo, President Barack Obama signs an Executive Order on stem cells and a Presidential Memorandum on scientific integrity in the East Room of the White House.   (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds, File)

(Newser) – The Obama administration approved 11 new lines of human embryonic stem cells for federally funded research today, in the first expansion of stem cell support since Obama officially overturned George W. Bush’s policy against them. “This is a real change in the landscape,” said the director of the National Institutes of Health. “This is the first down payment on what is going to be a much longer list.”

The lines come from the Children’s Hospital in Boston and Rockefeller University in New York. All 11 come from embryos left over from couples who’d sought fertility treatment. “This is what we’ve been waiting for,” said a spokesman for one pro-stem cell lobbying group. “We’re very excited.” But opponents decried the move as unnecessary, citing alternatives like adult stem cells.