Stem Cells: The Basics
What is cord blood?
Cord blood is the blood remaining in your baby’s umbilical cord following birth. These stem cells can repair damaged tissues and are being used right now for thousands of patients. Everyday lives are being saved with a cord blood transplant.
Why is cord blood so precious?
Your baby’s cord blood provides a rich source of stem cells that are the only perfect DNA match for your baby, should he or she ever need a transplant . Many researchers and cord blood transplant doctors believe that the next big advance in medicine is going to be in cell therapy and regenerative medicine. Their view is that cells can do what drug therapies can do – and that’s repair tissue.
What are stem cells?
Stem cells are the building blocks of the immune and blood system. Stem cells can divide into other cells that are an exact DNA match for your baby’s existing cells.
How do stem cells work?
Stem cells divide many times to make new stem cells. They can also transform into specific cells needed by the body to heal itself. Because these stem cells are an exact DNA match to your child’s immune system, they can be used to treat many illness and conditions.
Are there religious, political, or ethical reasons not to collect or use cord blood?
The collection and use of cord blood is considered to be non-controversial and has widespread religious and state support. In contrast, the controversy in the media involves embryonic stem cells, which involve removing cells from unborn human embryos. CordBank is not involved with any aspect of embryonic stem cell research.