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  • ABC News Nightline Your Child's Umbilical Cord
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ABC News Nightline Your Child's Umbilical Cord


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If you could derive medical benefits by harvesting the blood from a freshly discarded umbilical cord, it's hard to think of any ethical reason why you shouldn't do so. As it is, about 3.5 million umbilical chords are thrown into the trash every year. Since that cord blood, as it's known, is rich in blood-forming stem cells, which can then be used in transplantation instead of bone marrow, saving it, storing it would seem to make eminently good sense. Indeed, there are already several thriving businesses that have grown up around that very premise. For a couple of thousand dollars or so, the companies will collect the blood from your baby's umbilical cord. And for about $100 a year, they'll store it in a refrigerated container. Then, should the baby or any immediate member of the family need it for treatment of some disease or another, bingo, you've hit the jackpot. But probably, your odds of winning at bingo are probably much greater. Which is not so say that storing cord blood is a bad idea. ABC News takes a look at a new advancement in science on which expectant parents are being asked to decide. Anchor: Ted Koppel. Correspondent: Judy Muller.

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