The Ultimate Life Insurace Policy--Cord Blood Essays

The Ultimate Life Insurace Policy--Cord Blood Essays

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Over the last several decades, the field of medical technology and research has become increasingly advanced. Just read up on any of the most recent innovations; what may have once been considered science fiction is rapidly becoming reality. Some of the most publicized scientific discoveries are related to stem cells, as the controversial research and use of certain types of these cells is continuously being debated among politicians, scientists, and religious leaders. However, it is believed that a specific type of stem cell, an umbilical cord blood stem cell, may be used to treat a number of diseases, disorders, or injuries devoid of ethical controversy. Banks for storing cord blood exist in countries all over the world and its use is becoming more common in clinical settings, but widespread awareness of its potential is lacking. For many people, especially expectant parents, a very important question remains unanswered: Could one’s own cord blood hold the ultimate life insurance policy, and if so, is cord blood banking legitimate and worth the expense?
Stem cells are defined by their “multilineage potential” and their “ability for self-renewal” (Fahey & Wallace, 2011, p. 672). It is these characteristics that make them so unique when compared to other types of cells. Pluripotent stem cells “have the potential to give rise to every cell and tissue in the body, except the placenta,” while multipotent stem cells “are more limited in the types of cells they can become” (Steenblock & Payne, 2006, p.7). Large quantities of stem cells can “respond to specific chemical signals and set about to facilitate healing by differentiating into the specialized cells required for the body’s repair” (p. 5). Because of this, many experts believ...


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Steenblock, D. A., & Payne, A. G. (2006). Umbilical cord stem cell therapy: The gift of healing from healthy newborns. Laguna Beach, CA: Basic Health Publications.
Troeger, C., & Holzgreve, W. (2011). Cord blood allogeneic and autologous banking. In N. Bhattacharya & P. Stubblefield (Eds.), Frontiers of cord blood science (pp.307-315). London: Springer.
ViaCord. (2012). Treatable diseases and future uses of cord umbilical cord blood stem cells. ViaCord Cord Blood Banking + Research. Retrieved from http://www.viacord.com/treatable-diseases.htm
Zhao, Y., Jiang, Z., Zhao, T., Ye, M., Hu, C., Yin, Z….Mazonne, T. (2012). Reversal of type 1 diabetes via islet beta cell regeneration following immune modulation by cord blood-derived multipotent stem cells. BMC Medicine, 10(3). Retrieved from http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/10/3

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