Differences Between Cord Blood Storage and DNA
Many expectant parents consider banking their babys umbilical cord blood because it contains stem cells. These cells contain the possible to metamorphose into any other cell within the human body. This ability is advantageous if the child ever develops certain life-threatening disease, such as sickle cell anemia, lymphoma or leukemia. However, they may be incapable of protecting them or addressing other cancers or age-related diseases.
Storing Umbilical Cord Blood
A procedure extracts blood from the umbilical cord at birth, which is then stored. This blood is high in stem cells and could someday be used as treatment if the child is afflicted with certain diseases. However, during labor, there is also an increased risk of maternal DNA contaminating the cord blood. Due to its metamorphosing similarities, stem cells can also aid tissue, organ, and blood canal repairs. In addition to umbilical cords, these cells are also located in fetal tissue, baby teeth, circulating blood, bone marrow, etc. In fact, every part of the human body contains stem cells; however, most supplies do not contain concentrations high enough for medical harvesting.
Cord blood stem cells have been used successfully to treat over seventy different diseases, including some cancers, blood disorders, and immune deficiencies. Among these conditions are leukemia, aplastic anemia, thalassemia, Hodgkins disease, and non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Cord blood transplants are also used to treat scarce, otherwise-fatal metabolic disorders such as Krabbe disease and Sanfilippo syndrome.
Stem cells cannot be considered magic potions though and the current possibilities of curing genetic diseases are limited. Identical genetic markers exist both within a childs cord blood and body, meaning a direct transplant will not deliver unaffected, useful cells. Cord blood can sometimes aid a sibling who is afflicted with genetic disease that does not affect the donor. Unfortunately, siblings proportion only a 25-percent chance of being viable matches, with already less chance of a child being able to donate to parents.
Despite these challenges, no one is debating that cord blood cells are incapable of saving lives. Experts with the Institute of Medicine have stated that 6,000 out of 20,000 lives were saved with umbilical cord blood. However, most of these people received life-saving treatment with bone marrow transplants instead by the National Marrow Donor Program.
People must also consider that it is highly doubtful that their babies will ever require stored cord blood. According to the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology, there is only a one in 2,700 chance that a person will ever use this material for disease treatment.
Finally, privately banking a babys umbilical cord blood is expensive. for example, it can cost close to $2,000 to store cord blood for the first year alone. Public storage, which makes the cord blood obtainable via a national registry not unlike bone marrow, is an different. The donor incurs no cost and families can nevertheless request a transplant if the donation has not already been used. Publicly donated cord blood has helped thousands of people, but few U.S. hospitals actively collect and store it. For parents, the choice is not between public and private banking. The choice is between private banking and disposing of the blood outright.
DNA storage is a different mechanism as an different to cord blood storage. DNA storage holds potential for gene therapy treatments in the future. For example, researchers have discovered that genetic mutations are responsible for 90 percent of cancers. An indivduals DNA changes throughout a lifetime, consequently those who possess early copies of their genomes on file are poised to assistance from technologies and treatments as they become obtainable.
DNA is commonly stored via a cheek swab sample, also known as a buccal swab. This an easy, non-intrusive method to gather DNA samples. the time of action is as simple as it sounds: a cotton swab is swiped against the inside of the cheek. The resultant sample is then packaged and sent to a lab for storage. DNA storage is inexpensive, although comparatively unproven. The dominant reason to consider it is to be prepared for future scientific and medical advancement. Having an obtainable and complete, non-damaged DNA sample allows one to examine for environmentally-damaged DNA, which may become an early disease detection method. This idea is not far-fetched given current research which demonstrates that many diseases, including cancers, may be caused by environmental damage to DNA.
Stored DNA samples may also be useful for genetic disorder treatment or delaying the onset of age-related diseases. Genetic information is not only important for the sample-providing individual. Future generations may also be able to use DNA samples from family members to determine illness predispositions and other purposes which have not in addition been developed. Having this information freely obtainable could ease early treatment for these individuals in order to avoid complications related to serious illness or disease and the possible for customized therapies.
DNA storage is not in addition standard; however it is comparatively inexpensive and provides benefits which may rule to fuller lives. Ultimately, DNA storage provides parents with a stable and cost-effective method to store a genetic profile from a young age as a benchmark or snapshot.
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