Heart attack victims: Stem cell therapy offers promise

cardiac cycle animated
Credit: Xavax via Wikimedia Commons.

Stem cell technology has produced some very exciting advances in medicine recently. Now a recent study from Penn State details how researchers coaxed ordinary skin cells to grow into heart cells.

Because experimenting with embryonic stem cells comes with ethical problems, researchers have learned how to induce skin cells to differentiate into other cells the way stem cells do. Researchers at Penn State were able to use induced pluripotent stem cells…to become epicardium cells—those that cover the outer layer of the human heart.

“[W]e did a comparison between our cells and the real human cells, and found they were very much like each other,” says [Xiaojun Lance Lian, lead author and assistant professor of biomedical engineering and biology at Penn State].

Another exciting breakthrough came when the team learned to create reporter cells, which [glowed green when] they showed up in the petri dish….

Together, these advances bode well for clinical applications of stem cell therapy after heart attacks.

[The study can be found here.]

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Scientists Use Stem Cells to Regenerate Layers of a Human Heart

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