Hardly a day goes by without a new revelation in stem cell technology. When I first worked in this field nearly 30 years ago there was little interest in stem cells beyond the highly specialized experts working on bone marrow transplantation. Today we hear about stem cells coming from cord blood, placenta, embryos, the fat collected during liposuction and even from baby teeth! All sorts of claims are made for the current and future clinical applications of these cells based sometimes on fact and sometimes on wishful thinking. The contributions of politicians, the media and perhaps worst of all self-interested ‘celebrities’ just help to confuse the debate. Whatever the present and future applications of stem cell technology may be it is becoming increasingly obvious that stem cell technology is big business in particular in the field of private banking of stem cells .