Canadian researchers have found that the umbilical cord, usually discarded after the cord blood has been harvested for future use, has the potential to become a "virtually inexhaustible" source of mesenchymal stem cells that could help researchers avoid the ethical debate surrounding embryonic stem cells. Test tube and live mice experiments showed that the MSCs are capable of inducing bone and cartilage growth, as well as hastening skin wound healing, the researchers said.

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