INDIA – first public stem cell bank opens in city

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Umbilical cord of a three-minute-old child.  A...
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CHENNAI –  The country’s first public stem cell bank, which would store stem cells extracted from a newborn’s umbilical cord for common use, was inaugurated here on Thursday. The cells, which are collected from the blood from umbilical cord soon after childbirth, are preserved at -196 degrees Celsius in liquid nitrogen.

While mothers can store the blood for private use for a cost, they would be charged nothing if they donate it to the public bank. These cells are capable of developing into different kinds of cells and tissues, offering new treatment methods for serious disorders including blood cancer.

Member of parliament Kanimozhi inaugurate , a unit of Jeevan Blood Bank. “Stem cells have a shelf life of 21 years. As of now, there is 80% cure from stem cell therapy for diseases like blood cancer and Thalassemia. In the future, it may be possible to use these cells to grow damaged tissues or organs. It has a potential of curing more than 70 medical conditions,” said Dr P Srinivasan, managing trustee, Jeevan Blood Bank.

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