You’ve heard of cord blood banks? They operate on the idea that the blood from your child’s umbilical cord can be used later to treat diseases like leukemia, sickle cell and metabolic problems among others. The problem is that it’s generally expensive and the likelihood that you’ll actually need it is difficult to predict. Costs range from $600-$2000 for the initial deposit in a private bank and then there’s a yearly storage fee that hovers around $100. The probability that you’ll need it can be anywhere from 1:1,000 to 1:200,000, depending on who you ask. It’s free to donate to a public cord bank, but there you’re not assured that you’d have access to the blood that you deposited.
Now, apparently, there’s a new cheaper option and it’s based here in Austin. BioEden can take your child’s baby teeth and extract stem cells from them that can be used to treat diseases. The cost is somewhat cheaper and for those of us that have kids that were too old or decided to delay the decision, we’ve got another option. I’ve inexplicably been saving my son’s baby teeth as he’s lost them. They’re sitting in a plastic baggie in the top drawer of my dresser. Honestly, I don’t know why I’m saving them. I don’t think I’m shelling out the money on the outside chance that they’ll help later though, especially since we don’t have a history of the types of things it might help. I wonder how long you can keep the teeth and still harvest the cells? I guess you’re SOL once the tooth is out and you haven’t put it in their special ToothSaver solution with ice packs?
Update (2006.07.17): The Statesman wrote a story about this today.
Bill Simmons goes nuts on YouTube. Enjoy it while you can because YouTube is sure to go the way of Napster.
For those that are living under a rock, there’s legislation winding its way through both the House and Senate that could potentially change how we interact with the Internet. The issue is commonly referred to as “network neutrality” or “net neutrality”. You can find a lot of information at Save The Internet.
The current and most pressing action is happening in the Senate Commerce Committee. Our own Kay Bailey Hutchison is a member of this committee and will have a say in where this issue heads out of the committee. If you support Net Neutrality, then you want to contact Sen. Hutchison via phone, fax or e-mail and let her know that you’d like her to support the Snowe/Dorgan amendment (S. 2917).
Here’s her contact information:
DC Office – 202-224-5922; 202-224-0776 (FAX)
Austin Office – 512-916-5834; 512-916-5839 (FAX)
You need to contact her office in the next few days as it’s expected to be taken up either tomorrow or Wednesday.
If you’d like to read more on the issue, here are several articles:
Did you know that Austin has 10 sister cities (4 in Asia, 2 in Africa, 1 in Europe, 1 in South America, 1 in Mexico and 1 in Austrailia)? Neither did I. Apparently, some even have their own website. Not only that, but ten sisters isn’t enough for us and we’re wooing a city in Turkey this summer.
Has anybody ever travelled to one of these other cities as part of the sister city program?
I saw a blurb on Defamer several months ago that Michael Eisner is hosting a talk show on CNBC (Channel 50 or 360 on Time Warner Austin, depending if you’re analog or digital), an interesting choice for a channel that’s essentially a glorified stock ticker. Anyway, the episode that airs tonight has Eisner laying the smackdown on Pat Robertson. Suicidegirls has the details. It’ll be worth checking out as a lead-in for the Mavs to prove that they pwn the Heat.
[tags]cnbc, michaeleisner, patrobertson, suicidegirls[/tags]