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Cord Blood

SCIENCE
June 19, 2005 | By Alan Zarembo, Times Staff Writer
The courier arrived just after midnight with a bag of blood collected from a fresh umbilical cord. Inside the laboratory at Family Cord Blood Services in Santa Monica, a worker siphoned off red cells, leaving a dilute mixture of stem cells — a personal supply for Olivia Michelle Boyd, born 15 hours earlier in Honolulu. Her parents, Stephanie and Anthony Boyd, had agreed to pay the company $1,265 to harvest the material and $115 a year to preserve it in a stainless steel tank filled with liquid nitrogen.
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SCIENCE
May 21, 2005 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Transplanting umbilical cord blood to seemingly healthy infants before they develop symptoms of Krabbe's disease can dramatically prolong their lives, researchers reported this week in the New England Journal of Medicine. About one in 100,000 newborns has Krabbe's disease, an inherited condition that destroys the insulation surrounding nerve cells and typically kills a child by age 2.
SCIENCE
April 15, 2005 | Alan Zarembo, Times Staff Writer
The collection and storage of umbilical cord blood -- a fast-growing alternative to bone marrow transplants for chemotherapy patients -- should be coordinated by a government network to increase availability, a national advisory panel concluded in a report released Thursday. Congress has set aside $19 million to subsidize public cord-blood banks and organize the program. The goal is to add 100,000 units to boost the odds of finding good genetic matches that can be used in patients.
NATIONAL
February 6, 2004 | Elizabeth Shogren, Times Staff Writer
The Environmental Protection Agency believes that about 630,000 of the roughly 4 million babies born annually in the United States -- twice as many as previously thought -- may be exposed to dangerous levels of mercury in the womb, according to an analysis released Thursday. The primary source of newborns' exposure to mercury is the fish and shellfish their mothers eat.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 13, 2001
George E. Goodwin (letter, July 10) challenges all opponents of stem cell research to forswear any treatment derived from such research. I accept his challenge. I have been fighting cancer of the esophagus for five months and have plenty of anxiety about the eventual outcome. Nevertheless, there are principles more important than mere physical existence. This isn't a purely religious concept, as it was recognized by our founding fathers, who risked "our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor" for American independence.
NEWS
June 14, 2001 | From Associated Press
Blood from umbilical cords can build new immune systems for adults with leukemia, offering a potentially lifesaving treatment for the many patients who cannot find suitable bone marrow donors. An estimated 4,000 to 6,000 Americans die each year while awaiting a bone marrow match. Until now, stem cells drawn from umbilical cord blood have been reserved mostly for treating children.
HEALTH
May 14, 2001 | DENISE HAMILTON, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
When Melissa Segal of Studio City became pregnant with her first child, she got lots of advice. But she says one of the most useful tips came from a girlfriend who suggested she bank her newborn's umbilical cord blood. Cord blood is high in stem cells, which are capable of developing into red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 19, 2001 | THOMAS H. MAUGH II, TIMES MEDICAL WRITER
Theresa and Scott LaRue thought they had four healthy boys until their son Layne contracted Epstein-Barr virus in 1994 and died within two weeks. Trying to understand why Layne suffered such a drastic outcome from a viral infection that is normally much milder, physicians quickly discovered that two other sons--Garrett, then 3 1/2, and Blayke, 6 months--both have severely impaired immune systems. "It came out of nowhere for us," said Theresa LaRue.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 22, 2000
Transplants of umbilical cord blood are as effective as bone marrow transplants in saving the lives of childhood leukemia victims and others whose ravaged immune systems must be restored, an international team of researchers reports in today's New England Journal of Medicine. Umbilical cord blood appears more likely than marrow to work when the donor and the recipient are unrelated, according to the team from the University of Wisconsin and the Paris-based Eurocord-Cord Blood Transplant Group.
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