For Virgin, Good Science Is Good Business

Richard Branson's new venture, Virgin Health, will bank your child's umbilical cord blood for use in case of illness, or to donate to others

The Virgin Group empire spans planes, trains, spaceships, and even comic books. But on Feb. 1, Virgin Group founder Richard Branson made one of his boldest moves yet with the creation of the Virgin Health Bank, which enables parents to bank the stem cells of their newborn child's umbilical cord. These primitive cells are capable of developing into any one of a number of different cell types and are currently being used to treat 75 rare blood and immune system disorders, including some forms of cancer. "There is huge potential to be gained from the collection and storage," Branson says.

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