June 10, 2015

Umbilical cord blood banking is an important component to stem cell research, allowing cord blood cells that are collected from a new mother at birth, after her stages of pregnancy, to be used for a variety of purposes, including anemia treatment and the treatment of many other diseases.

A recent UPI study* out of Washington reports that a stem cell research team has successfully developed a way to cause embryonic stem cells to become inner-ear hair cells. These “hairs” are mechanosensitive ion channels that are responsible for hearing and balance. They turn vibrations into signals that the human brain can process.

The potential long-term sustainability of this study is evident. These cells could be used as a starting point to develop cell replacement therapies, which could successfully restore the lost or damaged hair cells in the inner ear. This could lead to a potential stem cell therapy for hearing loss.

Because stem cell research is constantly advancing in ways such as these, it is important for expecting mothers to consider umbilical cord blood banking during their earlier pregnancy stages. Once the stages of pregnancy are complete, there is not a chance to store a newborn child’s cord blood through an umbilical cord blood banking service such as CariCord. Cells stored through cord blood banking have a variety of uses, such as anemia treatment. In addition to potentially restoring hearing loss, cord blood has already been shown to treat more than 80 diseases, including cancers, leukemias, and anemia treatment.

* UPI, Scientists Develop Method to Grow Sensory Hair Cells in the Ear, May 26, 2015, published online.

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