Stem cell storage - your baby's ultimate health insurance? Stem cells - the basic building blocks of human life - are already being successfully used as part of the treatment for childhood leukaemia and various forms of cancer but they also have the potential to treat other serious diseases in future. These cells can be harvested easily from the umbilical cord of newborns at no risk to mum or baby and this has prompted the launch of at least four private stem cell banks in the UK. Stem cells banks have been operating for years in the US and in some states it is law to inform new parents about this potentially life-saving facility. Privately-run 'tissue banks' are now giving UK parents-to-be the option of having stem cells collected from their baby's umbilical cord straight after the birth and stored for up to 20 years, as a sort of 'living health insurance' against possible future disease. At least one company now also offers an adult service, where stem cells are taken from bone marrow instead of umbilical cord blood. 'Stem cells are already being used to treat blood diseases such as leukaemia but they have an amazing potential for the future too,' says Stephen Baines, Sales and Marketing Manager of Future Health Technologies the only UK Private Cord Blood Bank to be accredited by the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) and the HTA (Human Tissue Authority). Prices vary for storage but you can expect to pay anything from around £900-£1,500 to have your baby's stem cells prepared, frozen and stored for up to 20 years under strict laboratory conditions, while costs for an adult start at around £2,000 upwards. So, what's it all about? Stem cells are the original building blocks of life for humans as they can turn themselves into the many different types of cells needed to make up a person, from skin tissue to major organs like the heart and lungs. They help an embryo in the womb develop into a fully grown baby in just nine months and are found in huge numbers in the blood that flows through the umbilical cord. These stem cells can be harvested easily at birth: separated from the blood sample and deep frozen and stored for up to 20 years. If that person then falls ill with a condition that could be helped or even cured by using their stem cells, they can be thawed and reused in future. Most diseases involve the death, destruction or damage of healthy cells, for example, cardiac cells in heart disease and pancreatic cells in diabetes, and research being done now suggests, although hasn't proved, that stem cells could, in future, be implanted at sites of damage to engineer replacement tissue. However, stem cells are already used to help after transplants and to treat leukaemia and other blood diseases effectively. For more visit below link- babyworld - pregnancy - antenatal tests - stem cell storage Related thread- http://www.indusladies.com/forums/personal-technology/5449-stem-cells-basics.html PS-I'm posting this one seprately so that pregnant ladies came to know abt the importance of stem cell.