Growing a heart (was Re: Made in China)

From: Jeff Davis (
Date: Wed Apr 18 2001 - 14:05:32 MDT

Anders writes:

>> Grow a heart, for pete's sake.
>The cultured muscle cells seem to do nicely, now we just need to get them
to organise themselves in the right shape and become myofibrils :-)

>From EurekAlert, at: ,

Scientists repair damage from heart attack
    Using adult bone marrow stem cells in mice

>Begin excerpt:

In their search for a way to reverse the damage, the team began by isolating
bone marrow stem cells from male mice. The isolated stem cells carried a
newly inserted gene that produces green fluorescent protein, a marker that
enabled the researchers to identify the transplanted cells. In addition, the
researchers decided to transplant stem cells from male mice into female
hearts so they could show definitively that any new heart muscle had
come from donor cells.

The researchers then gave the female mice a heart attack by tying
a suture around a coronary artery commonly blocked in human disease.
A short time later, they injected the labeled stem cells into the heart
next to the damaged tissue. Remarkably, over the next seven to 11 days,
the stem cells began to multiply and transform themselves into heart muscle
cells and migrated into the damaged area.

    After an average of nine days, the newly formed heart muscle cells
occupied 68 percent of the damaged portion of the heart. In addition,
the stem cells also began producing smooth muscle cells and endothelial
cells that organized themselves into new blood vessels.

>End quote.

                        Best, Jeff Davis

           "Everything's hard till you know how to do it."
                                        Ray Charles

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