Stem Cells Across The Curriculum

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Bone Marrow & Cord Blood Video


In 2012, a groundbreaking decision in the 9th District Court in the U.S. challenged the National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA) that forbids the exchange of monies or compensation for human tissues and organs. The case of Flynn v. Holder presented an argument for compensation based on three reasons: 1) that bone marrow stem cells can now be retrieved from the peripheral blood supply, avoiding the painful bone aspiration of past techniques; 2) that public bone marrow banks are often limited in their ability to provide patients with immunologically matched cells; and 3) that those of mixed race are disproportionately affected by this lack of diversity in stem cell banks. In an effort to diversity and promote public stem cell banks, scholars, activists, and bioethicists have presented strong arguments alongside governments that have chosen to invest heavily in public stem cell collection using umbilical cord blood, placenta, and peripheral blood draws from adults. These efforts are often swamped out by a growing commercial industry in cord blood banking, leaving many unaware of the choices involved in banking and the reality of stem cell treatments from these sources. Moreover, the field is moving quickly, with advances in cord blood stem cell expansion allowing for adult treatment with as little as two cord blood units.


  1. Video: NBC.March 15, 2013. Mom of Girl in Need of Transplants Wins Fight to Compensate Bone Marrow Donors. Rock Center with Brian Williams. (7:56 min) Link
  2. News: Anonymous. Jan 18, 2012. Court Asked to Reconsider Ruling on Bone Marrow Compensation. Los Angeles Times. Nation Now. Link
  3. Video: NBC. March 15, 2013. Man Starts Organization to Compensate Bone Marrow Donors. Rock Center with Brian Williams. min) Link .
  4. Slide Show: July is African-American Bone Marrow Awareness Month. Link
  5. Law Article: Mohapatra, S. Fall 2013. Cutting the cord from private cord blood banking: Encouraging compensation for public cord blood donations after Flynn v. Holder.  University of Colorado Law Review.  84: 944-983. Link
  6. Review Article: Kurtzberg, J. et al. 2005. Untying the Gordian knot: policies, practices, and ethical issues related to banking of umbilical cord blood. Journal of Clinical Investigation. 115(10):2592-2597.   Link
  7. Infographic: Chamany, K. et al. 2013. Adult Blood ZoomGraphic. Stem Cells Across the Curriculum: Infographics.
  8. Animation Slide Show: Public Cord Blood Banking: United State LifeCord: Link.
  9. Research Article Jeong, Y. 2016. Contested expectations: The cord blood economy in south Korea. New Genetics and Society. 35(3):289-306. Link. Animation of protocol for retrieval, expansion and storage.
  10. Animation: Cell Care. Link. Private company that claims cord blood can treat up to 80 diseases.
Videos on Public Cord Blood Banking: Stem Cell Channel
  1. Australian Stem Cell Centre. Nov 14, 2010. How Can They Be Used: Cord Blood: Banking and Uses. Stem Cell Channel.(7:09 min) Link
  2. Australian Stem Cell Centre. Nov 14, 2010.  Banking Cord Blood. Stem Cells Australia. Stem Cell Channel/YouTube.(3:46 min) Link
  3. Australian Stem Cell Centre. Nov 15, 2010. Cord Blood Transplant- How stem cells assist in the treatment of cancer.  Stem Cell Channel/YouTube.(5:48 min) Link