While we tend to focus on its usefulness in treating various diseases, cord blood is also being researched for other medical treatments, including something as simple as developing more blood for straight transfusions.
The Daily Mail reports that US scientists have now sucessfully developed a procedure to create a significant volume of blood from a single umbilical cord. Using a process known as "pharming", they are able to create approximately 20 useable units of blood from a single donation. Type O-negative blood is currently being created, as it can be used in tranfusions for patients regardless of their own blood type.
While the current research is being conducted on behalf of the military, for whom blood for transfusions are often needed and in short supply, the science is sure to benefit public as well once fully established. The first pharmed units have now been delivered to the FDA for further investigation, with the firm Arteriocyte speculating it could be ready for military use in the next 5 years.