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Harvesting umbilical cord stem cells. Donated human placenta (wrapped in absorbent pad) being prepared for harvesting of umbilical cord stem cells. The placenta is suspended from a clamp with the umbilical cord stretched out below it to allow blood to drain from it. The stem cells, which are able to develop into any type of blood cell, can be used to treat a number of diseases, including cancers, genetic diseases and blood disorders. The placenta lines the uterus (womb) during pregnancy, providing the foetus with oxygen and nutrients and removing waste products. The umbilical cord attaches the placenta to the foetus. Blood stem cells will be harvested from the placenta and umbilical cord and cryogenically stored (frozen).
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