Legislation sponsored in the U.S. House by Birmingham Democrat, Cong. Artur Davis, to establish a national databank of umbilical cord blood and bone marrow was signed into law Tuesday by President Bush.
The bill will allow doctors to quickly find a match for patients who need a transplant.
The U.S. Senate on Dec. 16 passed the bill by voice vote. The House passed the bill in May by a vote of 431-1.
The bill was stalled while lawmakers argued over a far-reaching plan that would lift restrictions on stem cell research, which Bush has signaled he would veto.
The measure provides $79 million dollars in federal funding to increase the number of cord blood units available for matches.
The objective is 150,000 units, which would mean 90 percent of patients needing them would have a match.