When New Jersey gave the Coriell Institute for Medical Research $5 million last year, it was the first time any state had funded an umbilical cord blood bank. But no other state has a research institute like Coriell, in Camden, across the Delaware River from Philadelphia. The nonprofit has, for nearly five decades, collected, stored, and cultured cells, providing them to almost every major research center worldwide.

Courtesy of Coriell Institute

An umbilical cord blood cassette used in storing the blood ensures that the contents remain free of contamination.

The new bank will store the umbilical cord blood gathered from the state's newborns. "Having a readily available source of stem cells that can be transplanted into unrelated recipients will be a major advance," said David P. Beck, the institute's president, at the time of the bank's establishment last November.

Cord blood research holds vast potential for therapeutic interventions. One...

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