Embryonic vs Umbilical Cord Blood Stem Cell Facts

2. UMBILICAL CORD BLOOD STEM CELLS VS EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS

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UMBILICAL CORD BLOOD STEM CELLS

EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS

Availability
Every child has an umbilical cord

Collection is a safe, easy, relatively inexpensive, and painless five-minute procedure:

    • No harm, discomfort, or inconvenience        to mother and child

    • Currently, 99% of these valuable cells        are being thrown into the waste

Embryonic stem cells are derived from human embryos

Collection is a complicated and expensive procedure:

    • Woman must be stimulated with        expensive medications to collect        multiple eggs

    • Eggs then inseminated with sperm,        resulting in embryo

Ethical Controversy
No ethical issues exist with cord blood stem cells

Until recently, cord blood was considered a waste product

No religious objections with the exception of Jehovah Witnesses, who may object because it is a blood-based treatment

Embryonic stem cells create ethical, religious, and political debate

Their production requires the destruction of human embryos

Religions have objected to the procurement and use of these cells

Expense
Stem cell extraction from umbilical cord blood

is a laboratory procedure done by experienced scientists

Storage is relatively easy and inexpensive

Highly skilled scientists and sophisticated laboratory equipment is required for extraction of embryonic stem cells from the embryos

Process is complicated and expensive

Medical
Used thousands of times to successfully treat over 80 different diseases worldwide
Embryonic stem cells have not been used in the medical treatment of disease in humans