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Stem cell banking is essentially the procedure of retrieving your baby's cord blood early in life and then cryogenically storing and extracting and then freeze its stem cells and other specialized cells of the immune system to potential future medical use.
Since stem cells can be used in many scientific and medical research procedures, it is considered as one of the most important parts of the human body. Your baby's cord blood contains stem cells from his or her umbilical cord and placenta. Cord blood is also rich in stem cells from bone marrow, kidneys, liver, lungs, and blood vessels.
Because of these stem cell characteristics, it has been recognized and accepted by the medical community that it holds tremendous potential for medical research and other purposes.
Cord blood banks has been around for some time, but until recently there was very little known about it. Today, people from all walks of life have been learning more about the potential uses of stem cells and cord tissue banking for various medical reasons.
More families are opting for stem cell cord tissue banking as a way to save for medical emergencies or to help in treatments for various diseases. Stem cell cord tissue banking can be used not only for stem cell transplants but also for the preservation and storage of other stem cells such as blood, stem cells from umbilical cords, and even stem cells from the lining of the reproductive organs.
While the public is learning more about stem cell therapies, the public is not aware of the fact that stem cells can be used in many aspects of medicine other than clinical trials and transplants. It is widely accepted today that stem cells, once taken from a person's own body, can be used for a wide variety of different types of research and treatment.
Stem cells obtained from your own body have been used to develop blood cells, organ tissues, and other components needed in transplants and therapy. They have also been used to help regenerate skin tissue. These cells can even be used to treat severe burns and trauma, and they can help treat serious diseases such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. The potential applications of stem cell banking are virtually endless.
Stem cells obtained through cord blood banking are not considered to be embryos and so they cannot be patented. However, companies have been creating ways to extract stem cells from umbilical cord blood, which seems like an ethical grey area.
Recently, a bill was introduced in the House of Representatives that would regulate stem cell banking. If passed, it will probably force all U.S. states to allow parental consent for medical experiments involving stem cells from umbilical cord blood. It is currently illegal to take stem cells from human donors without their permission, but some doctors are performing stem cell transplants without this strict guideline because it may be argued that they are permitted to collect the cells anyway under certain circumstances.
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