JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Placenta. Hands holding a healthy human placenta before the harvesting of blood from its umbilical cord (lower right) for its blood stem cells. The placenta lines the uterus during pregnancy, providing the foetus with nutrients and respiratory gases, and removing its waste products. The stem cells in the stored donor blood may be used for medical treatment. They can be used to treat leukaemia, a cancer that causes the overproduction of abnormal white blood cells. Blood stem cells can specialize into red blood cells, platelets or white blood cells. Photographed at the London Cord Blood Bank, part of the National Blood Service, England.
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