Umbilical cord matrix, a rich new stem cell source, study shows

The cushioning material or matrix within the umbilical cord known as Wharton’s jelly is a rich and readily available source of primitive stem cells, according to findings by a research team at Kansas State University. Animal and human umbilical cord matrix cells exhibit the tell-tale characteristics of all stem cells, the capacity to self-renew and to differentiate into multiple cell types. The cells — called cord matrix stem cells to distinguish them from cord blood cells — can be obtained in a non-invasive manner from an abundant source of tissue that is typically discarded.

Vet develops cheap manatee chow for injured animals

Fifty pounds of romaine lettuce makes enough Caesar salad for a hundred people, but it?s just a one-day food supply for a manatee in captivity. To feed the endangered aquatic mammals more economically while they recover from injuries or medical treatment, a University of Florida veterinarian has developed a new manatee chow that costs one-tenth the price of lettuce. The discovery comes at a time when manatee injuries and subsequent deaths have reached record rates. In 1986, 122 manatees died in Florida. Fifteen years later, that number climbed to 325.