Miracle Cures May Be In Your CellsJoan O'C. Hamilton
From the ancient Aztec to the modern Navajo, many cultures have saved the umbilical cords of newborn babies to use in rituals. If a young company called Biocyte gets its wish, parents in the U.S. soon may embrace a similar rite--potentially with lifesaving consequences. In November, Biocyte said that for $1,500 plus $75 a year, it will freeze and store three ounces of "cord blood" cells extracted from umbilical cords of healthy infants, initially those born at Magee-Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh. If later the child, or a close relative, is afflicted by cancer or other serious disorders, these matched cells could help carry a cure.
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