TEK IMAGE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY TEK IMAGE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Umbilical cord blood for stem cell harvesting. Bag containing blood collected from a donated human placenta and umbilical cord (centre) and its products from which blood stem cells will be harvested. At left is plasma, the liquid component of blood, and at right are blood stem cells. The stem cells are able to develop into any type of blood cell, and can be used to treat a number of diseases, including cancers, genetic diseases and blood disorders. Second from right at bottom is a sample of the umbilical cord. 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.
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