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What is Cord Blood?
The term "cord blood" is used to describe the blood that remains in the umbilical cord and the placenta after the birth of a baby. Up until recently this afterbirth was discarded as medical waste. Cord blood contains stem cells that may be cryopreserved for later use in medical therapies, such as stem cell transplants or clinical trials of new stem cell therapies.
What are cord blood stem cells?
The blood in the umbilical cord and placenta is rich in stem cells. These are different from both the embryonic stem cells in a fertilized egg or the stem cells obtained from the tissues of a child or an adult. The stem cells in cord blood can grow into blood and immune system cells, as well as other types of cells.