accord with Hrithik?

Seems that umbilical cord blood banking in India received some starry recognition recently. There's also a rather informative general discussion about it on Slashdot.

I haven't made up my mind about it yet, but I am pretty sure it's all a waste of money for the following reasons:

  • It smells like a scam ... just like ULIPs, endowments, child plans, etc:
    • "Do it for the kids!"
    • "You need it. We know better."
  • Nobody really knows whether and how long cord cells can remain viable in cryogenic storage.
  • Recent research indicates that it will soon be practical to reprogram somatic cells to do what you need ... basically researches have managed to use cells from skin, teeth, bone marrow in rather interesting regeneration procedures, like reconstructing a windpipe using stem cells from the bone marrow.
  • The cord cells have the same genetic defects as the child, so they can't be used to treat leukemia etc.

Given all this, it makes quite a lot of sense to donate those cord cells, either to a public bank, or to stem cell research, rather than spending money on storing them. In the long term, it seems the preserved cord cells will be mostly unnecessary. But I don't think either of these alternatives are very interesting in India yet!

Written by sameer in Uncategorized on Sat 14 March 2009. Tags: idle thoughts, phase three,


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