Stem Cells: The Building Blocks of Life

Posted by Cells4Life on Oct 6, 2013 in Cord Blood Facts, Stem Cell Facts | 0 comments

Stem cells are generic and can replicate themselves exactly and indefinitely. They can make specialized cells for various tissues in the body including heart muscle, brain and liver tissue. Stem cells can be maintained seemingly forever.

Scientists are able to develop them into specialized cells as needed. They are the body’s master cells. These types of cells can renew themselves indefinitely. They have the ability to differentiate into a number of types of specialized cells such as: muscles, nerves, organs, bones blood and more. These properties make the stem cells are permanently committed to their own fate. Skin cells can only split and generate new skin cells.

The ability of stem cells to become other kinds of cells is called plasticity. This makes them necessary for renewing and repairing body tissue throughout one’s life. After birth your body retains stem cell reserves in many organs. Throughout life, one taps into those reserves to replace or repair diseased or injured tissue. These reserves are finite. As they become depleted, we succumb to disorders, disease and ageing. Stem cells therapy has the potential to replenish our reserves to fight a number of illnesses.

Many scientists believe that stem cell therapy will revolutionize medicine. Cell therapy may one day play a big part in the treatment of cancer, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, kidney disease, multiple sclerosis and more.

Stem cell therapy has also shown promise in repairing major spinal injuries and helping paralysis victim regain movement. Replenishment of tissue in ageing organs could possibly extend the human lifespan.

The lifesaving power of umbilical cord blood stem cells and the regenerative healing of cord tissue is no longer a secret. As stem cell treatments and research advance, more and more parents are opting to bank their newborn baby’s cord blood and tissue. Find out how stem cells are being used in medicine today.

Umbilical cord blood is the blood remaining in the cord after your baby has been born and the cord has been cut and clamped. It contains valuable stem cells that can be used in a variety of medical treatments such as regenerating the immune system after chemotherapy. Stem cells are known as ‘the building blocks of life’. They have the unique ability to become other types of cells in the body such as the blood, nerve cells, muscle, bone, and cartilage.

Why are umbilical stem cells so valuable?

Cord blood stem cells can only be collected at birth, so it is important to make the decision to do cord tissue storage several weeks before your due date.

Cord Tissue stored at birth have many advantages – they are readily available for your family if needed, they are considered to be the ‘youngest and freshest’ type of stem cell, and importantly there is a greater potential of a stem cell match between siblings.

Stem cells from the cord blood have been used for more than 20 years for the treatment of a number of disorders of the blood such as leukemia, lymphoma and thalassemia, which previously had been treated with bone marrow.

The umbilical cord blood collection process

After the safe delivery of your child, your obstetrician or midwife cleans the umbilical cord (with the materials provided in the Cells4Life kit) and inserts the blood bag needle into the umbilical vein. The blood flows into the bag by gravity. The blood bag tubing is clamped, sealed and labeled to await courier collection. The whole process takes only a few minutes and causes no pain for mother or baby.

Darren Keast is the author of this article on Stem Cell Facts. Find more information, about Cord blood banking here


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