Richard Branson, boss of the Virgin Group today launches a stem cell storage bank. For around £1500, cells harvested from a baby’s umbilical cord will be stored for 20years. If the child later develops leukaemia, the cells could be a possible treatment, and depending on the progress of research there may be other uses for these cells in the future.
There is currently much debate as to whether there is sufficient evidence to warrant cord blood cell storage at this time.
New Scientist Blog ‘Short Sharp Science: http://www.newscientist.com/blog/shortsharpscience/ and BBC news: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/6317855.stm