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Amniotic fluid stem cells, different from adult and embryonic stem cells, may soon hold the answer to correcting life-threatening birth defects. While Dr Anna David (UCL Institute for Women's Health / UCLH) works with mothers-to-be and helps diagnose these abnormalities in the womb, Dr Paolo De Coppi (UCL Institute of Child Health / Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children) and his team are working with stem cells from the amniotic fluid in the hope of developing therapies. Though this research is still at a pre-clinical stage, the future potential is enormous for treating babies both in the the womb and after birth.
UCL Centre for Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/stemcells/
For more on Dr De Coppi's research: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/stemcells/researchers/pc
For more on Dr David's research: http://www.instituteforwomenshealth.ucl.ac.uk/academic_research/maternalfetal/prenatalcell