Sunday, August 01, 2004

Stem Cell Banking

Did you know you can bank your baby's stem cells? Check out this link.
One source of stem cells that scientists and doctors are particularly excited about is umbilical cord blood which can be harvested from the discarded placenta and cord of a newborn baby. Cord blood stem cells are viewed as extremely promising candidates for stem cell therapy because collection is simple and risk free, and there are fewer complications, such as graft versus host disease, when umbilical cord blood stem cells are donated to unrelated patients, possibly because these cells are more 'tolerant' than stem cells obtained from other tissues.

Owing to their therapeutic potential, there are now a number of companies around who, for a small fee, will store your umbilical cord blood stem cells until you need them. Indeed, last year about 10% of American newborns 'banked' their cord blood stem cells in this way.

The Tiffany Rattle used to be the ultimate baby gift -- now it's a spot on a shelf at a stem cell bank.