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Placental Stem Cells Study in Oakland


A recent study being conducted by Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland is the first to show findings from a new source for harvesting stem cells from a woman’s placenta, or more specifically the discarded placentas of healthy newborns.

The study also finds there are a lot more stem cells in placentas than in umbilical cord blood, and they can be safely extracted for transplantation. Furthermore, it is highly likely that placental stem cells, like umbilical cord blood and bone marrow stem cells, can be used to cure chronic blood-related disorders such as sickle cell disease, thalassemia, and leukemia.

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6 Sources of Stem Cells


In the early stages of stem cell research, bone marrow was the sole source. Since then a number of other sources have been found to contain stem cells.

Bone marrow stem cell usually come from the long bones. The best sources are pelvic bones, femur and sheen bone. The bone marrow stem cells are adult stem cells and therefore not as diversified and potent to differentiate as compared to embryonic stem cells.

Umbilical cord blood stem cells are obtained from the umbilical cord blood, which are collected just after the birth of the baby.

Embryonic cells are obtained from the blastocyst phase of the embryo. Cells are highly efficient in producing newer types of cells.

Placental stem cells provide almost all the life supports to keep a baby alive. After birth it has been found to give rise to more number of stem cells as compared to embryonic stem cells.

Menstrual stem cells have an extra-ordinary improvement over the umbilical cord blood cells. They have a rapid growth rate.

Dental stem cells are cells obtained from tooth pulp generally from babies or from wisdom teeth. This has been found to produce bones, cartilage, muscle cells if cultured.

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Placenta An Important Stem Cell Source


Doctors are more often seeking to cure people who have leukemia and other blood-related disorders by giving them stem cell-rich bone marrow from donors who have closely matched tissue and blood types. The transplanted bone marrow makes healthy blood cells to replace the damaged or sickly ones. However, if the donor has a different tissue type, the recipient’s body will not recognize the new cells and will attack them, leading to what is known as graft-versus-host disease.

Placental stem cells, like umbilical cord blood, are much more tolerant with respect to matching. An advantage of placental stem cells is that they do not require an ideal match needed for those who have bone marrow transplants.

These stem cells appear to have distinct advantages in the fight against many diseases, and they may one day provide an alternative treatment for people who cannot find matching bone marrow donors, scientists said.

Researchers at the Children’s Hospital in Oakland, California obtained placentas from consenting mothers who had cesarean sections. The study of these placenta-obtained stem cells shows that research in California doesn’t focus solely on embryonic stem cells, which have the ability to transform into any cell type.

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