Blood Cord Bank: An introduction to cord blood stem cells
by Hope Ocampo
Finding a source of primitive stem cells. There are news reports about the positive impact that research on cord blood stem cells is having on the possible cure for numerous life threatening diseases. But with so many varying
reports about it or even factions it is impossible to keep track of all its useful facts. Stem cells show a level of plasticity which means they can generate and regenerate into many different types of cells and even organs within the our body. Potentially, if they can be removed from the donor and transfused into the patient in the future, stem cells could be used to cure virtually any illness.
Stem cells are more frequently found in babies or even in embryos although it has been discovered adult stem cells do exist. To date these have mostly been found in the brain but are dispersed freely amongst millions of other cells making the extraction incredibly difficult.
Cord blood stem cells, on the other hand, are very easy to remove. Because the process is completed after the child has been born and the umbilical cord cut and clamped there is no effect on the baby, the parent or the birth itself.
Stem cell testing. The umbilical cord stem cell matrix is called Wharton's jelly and is rich in primitive stem cells. These cells are one that has yet to progress, transform or produce other cells. Primitive stem cells are the most effective type of stem cells that can be used in a transfusion on any patient.
Typically a lot of testing has been done on animals to prove the viability of using stem cells taken from cord blood of newborn babies and amongst the most prominent of these tests, according to the online journal "stem cells", have been tests carried out on pigs. In a human blood cord, similar to a pig umbilical cord, two arteries & vein are found and tests have shown positive results concerned with the storage and potency of the blood. The journal "stem cells" contains a lot of data relating to stem cells and articles on various related topics.
At present leukemia and anemia are the two most common diseases treated with stem cell transfusions although since stem cell research has grown in volume and results diseases such as Parkinson's, Multiple Sclerosis and many different forms of cancer are also showing positive results.
How stem cells become T cells. T cells are the cells that are responsible for fighting infection in children and are created when stem cells pass through the thymus gland. If the patient does not have an adequate number of effective stem cells in their blood then they will not be able to create the T cells. And subsequently they are much more likely to suffer serious infections. This, in turn, means that cord blood stem cells can be used to recreate T cells as well as other vital cells within the body of your child. The stem cells will then create an army of T cells to fight off infection and leave the body to function in a normal manner.
As with a blood transfusion it is imperative to the operation's success that the stem cells transfused are of the same type as the patient's own blood. Using cord blood stem cells belonging to the patient themselves all but guarantees that this will be the case.
For more information on cord blood, please visit Cord Blood Banking
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