Placenta: The Final Frontier
July 5, 2007 11:42 PM Subscribe
Virgin Health Bank : It's not what you think. Richard Branson has started a hybrid (pun intended) umbilical cord blood bank. There has been a fascinating ongoing debate over whether the blood-forming hematopoietic stem cells found in umbilical cords should be banked privately (for individual, autologous use, not accessible to public registries) or publically (for allogeneic use). Branson's alternative requires parents to split their cord blood unit: 80% for the public bank and 20% for their own private banking. The parents pay $3000 or so for their "biological insurance" and if anyone in the world needs the public portion of the cord blood unit, they can have it free-of-charge.
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