Umbilical Cord Blood is loaded with stem cells and provides an ethically acceptable alternative to embryonic stem cell research. Cord blood banking is becoming increasingly more popular, too. According to the March of Dimes, cord blood is treating more than 45 disorders. The idea of UCB banking is to store the blood that is generally discarded after birth in case that child or a family member develops some form of blood disease in the future.
One of the drawbacks to umbilical cord banking is that it is rather expensive. If you find that you can’t afford to bank your own blood that doesn’t mean you have to let it go to waste. Cord blood banks also accept donations for use for research or transplantation. UCB stem cells have seen tremendous success recently. Scientists have grown liver cells, lung cells and even an artificial liver, using stem cells from umbilical cords. Unfortunately all of the hype over embryonic stem cell research has masked the amazing significance of these natural stem cells.
For more information on UCB research, successes, and banks visit:
A Parent’s Guide to Cord Blood Banks
National Marrow Donor Program
International Cord Blood Society
Cord Blood Registry
St. Louis Cord Blood Bank
The Coalition of Americans for Research Ethics
Or ask your local hospital/doctor