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Couples banking cord stem cells
[Posted: Tue 24/06/2008 www.irishhealth.com]
An increasing number of Irish people are opting to bank their baby's cord blood stem cells, according to an Irish company providing a stem cell preservation service.
Cord blood is found in the baby's umbilical cord and is normally discarded with the placenta as medical waste after the birth.
However, the umbilical cord and the blood it contains are a source of stem cells and can be freezed to be used at a later date to treat a range of diseases.
Prof Colin McGuckin of the Institute of Human Genetics at Newcastle University, who visited Ireland this week, said stem cells extracted from cord blood are the 'youngest' type of stem cells to be collected after birth and as a result, may have therapeutic advantages over those collected through other means.
Prof McGuckin and the research group at Newcastle University, along with researchers in Paris, recently created the international research consortium promote responsible research on cord blood and adult stem cells.
He said cord blood stem cells are less likely to contain DNA abnormalities and and are less likely likely to be rejected in transplantations.
The cord blood stem cell preservation service is provided by Medicare Health and Living. See...
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