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The Stem Cell Divide
JULY 2005
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In Learn More the National Geographic magazine team shares some of its best sources and other information to expand your knowledge of our featured subjects. Special thanks to the Research Division.

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 Did You Know?  
 Related Links  
 NGS Resources  

Did You Know?Did You Know?

Cord Blood Donation and Storage Basics
Only 17 states have hospitals that participate in umbilical cord blood donation programs that are free of charge. Private cord blood storage banks, in which companies charge a fee for the extraction and storage of cord blood, are usually for potential future use by the newborn or his/her family.
Donating cord blood is important, because the cells are promising and offer cures for patients with leukemia and other blood cell diseases, and because some patients searching for cord blood donations are unable to find a match because of the rarity of their tissue traits. That is why a pressing need remains for more cord blood donations from American Indians and Alaska Natives, Asians, Black and African Americans, Hispanics, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific islanders, and multiple-race women.
The following website lists participating hospitals that actively collect cord blood units for the National Marrow Donor Program, which offers the single largest listing of umbilical cord blood units in the United States.
For a complete list of the participating hospitals that actively collect cord blood units and are not part of the NMDP network and do not list their cord blood units on the National Marrow Donor Program Registry go to:
A listing of private cord blood storage banks can be found here:
—Emily Krieger

Related Links

The International Society for Stem Cell Research
The ISSCR is a relatively new but respected stem cell organization. Its website provides summaries of major issues in stem cell research and is home to Pulse, the free monthly stem cell research news journal.
The National Institutes of Health Stem Cell Information Home Page
The United States government has put together this comprehensive and often updated website on stem cells. It contains information for the layperson as well as databases of published studies, including human clinical trials.
University of Wisconsin-Madison Embryonic Stem Cell Research
The University of Wisconsin-Madison is where scientists first isolated and cultured human embryonic stem cells, thus creating the world's first human embryonic stem cell line. This university website provides a good overview of major stem cell research issues, with an emphasis on embryonic stem cell research, particularly on federally funded lines.
United Nations Human Cloning Vote Press Release
Are you curious what exactly the UN voted to do about human cloning in March 2005? While many advocated an international legal ban on human cloning, only a "declaration" was passed, which condemns human cloning but is not legally binding. This press release from the UN contains a country breakdown of who voted how, and sometimes an explanation of why.
White House Press Page for Remarks by the President on Stem Cell Research, August 9, 2001
This website provides print, audio, and visual of the President's August 9, 2001, address to the nation regarding stem cell research, in which he outlined the guidelines for receiving federal funding.
Boston Globe Stem Cell Articles
This Boston Globe website (free registration required) offers a compilation of staff writer Gareth Cook's stem cell research articles, which won him the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory journalism.
Cedric's Hope
Keep up on Cedric Seldon's fight against leukemia and his 2004 cord blood transplant through journal entries and a photo gallery.


Holland, Suzanne, Karen Lebacqz, and Laurie Zoloth, eds. The Human Embryonic Stem Cell Debate: Science, Ethics, and Public Policy. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2001.

Hwang, Woo Suk, and others. "Evidence of a Pluripotent Human Embryonic Stem Cell Line Derived From a Cloned Blastocyst." Science (March 12, 2004), 1669-74.

Parsons, Ann B. Proteus Effect: Stem Cells and Their Promise in Medicine. Joseph Henry Press, 2004.

Thomson, James A., and others. "Embryonic Stem Cell Lines Derived From Human Blastocysts." Science (November 6, 1998), 1145-47.


NGS Resources

Jerome, Kate Boehm. Fighting Disease. National Geographic Reading Expeditions, 2003.
Suplee, Curt. The New Everyday Science Explained. National Geographic Books, 2003.
Weiss, Rick. "War On Disease." National Geographic (February 2002), 4-31.
Swerdlow, Joel L. "A New Kind of Kinship." National Geographic (September 1991), 64-93.
Jaret, Peter. "The Disease Detectives: Stalking the World's Epidemics." National Geographic (January 1991), 114-40.
Gore, Rick. "The Awesome Worlds Within a Cell." National Geographic (September 1976), 354-95.

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