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Oct 2014 Canada has the most ethnically diverse population in all of the Group of Eight (G-8) leading industrialised countries (1). Over 20% of Canada's population is foreign-born, with representation from almost 200 countries. Among those who arrived since 2001, almost 60% are from Asia (including the Middle East). Currently, 20% of the population identify themselves as members of a visible minority, which accounts for over 6 million people. The median age of this group, 33.4 years, is within the child-bearing years.
Sep 2014 Cord blood banking can preserve viable stem cells for decades if the cryogenic nitrogen tanks are maintained at a constant very low temperature.
Sep 2014 Adriana was born in Italy in 2009 after an in vitro fertilization and her parents were finally achieving the dream of their lives. Everything appeared to be fine with the pregnancy until the last moment when the mother started to feel contractions and ran to the clinic. She had forgotten to bring the kit for storing cord blood stem cells, but luckily Francesco from SmartBank reached them at the clinic right on time.
Sep 2014 Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators have made an important step towards greater availability of hand transplants, face transplants and other transplants involving multiple types of tissue, and stem cells play an important role. Hand, face and soft tissue transplants are collectively known as vascularized composite allografts, or VCAs. A VCA transplant is one that involves transplantation of multiple tissue types: muscle, bone, nerves and skin. They are most frequently used to replace amputated hands and arms, and to repair severe facial injuries.
Aug 2014 Many expectant parents research their options for their child's cord blood - whether to donate it, privately bank it, or have it discarded as medical waste - but what about the placenta? Can it, too, be a valuable source of cells that one should consider saving? Before we address that question, let's first discuss the placenta itself.
Aug 2014 Americord Registry, a leading cord blood banking company based in New York City, has made major strides in addressing one of the major limitations of cord blood banking: the relatively low volume of stem cells that are typically collected from cord blood. A typical cord blood collection generally harvests enough stem cells to treat a patient who weighs up to 65 pounds. This volume of stem cells may be used to treat a patient over 65 pounds as a last resort, but these transplants have a much lower success rate than transplants containing an appropriate number of stem cells.
Aug 2014 Nevelash brought cheer to his parents' life when he was born two years ago. Basically an Indian family, Nevelash's parents were settled in Malaysia, earning their daily bread by working for laborer's wages.
Jul 2014 The latest clinical trial to explore the therapeutic potential of cord blood launched this month with a focus on autism. This is a very big deal because autism is a very common condition. In recent years the number of children with autism has been rising, and no one knows why. A few months ago the CDC upgraded the prevalence of autism in children age eight from 1 in 88 to 1 in 68; among boys the prevalence is 1 in 42.
Jul 2014 Umbilical cord blood has been identified as a rich source of blood-forming stem cells that can be used to restore normal blood development following blood stem cell transplantation. In particular, umbilical cord blood is most commonly used in pediatric patients undergoing blood stem cell transplantation for blood cancers such as leukemia and for the treatment of rare inherited metabolic disorders.
Jun 2014 Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is an inherited disease of red blood cells caused by a gene mutation involving a single amino acid substitution in the hemoglobin gene. The red blood cells become sickle shaped (see figure below) under stress conditions, leading the cells to stick together and block tiny blood vessels. This can cause pain crises, stroke, and chronic progressive organ damage.