Friday, July 24, 2009

'New way' to repair heart damage

'New way' to repair heart damageScientists say they have found a new way to mend damage to the heart. When cells turn into fully-formed adult heart muscle they stop dividing, and cannot replace tissue damaged by disease or deformity. But a US team have found a way to coax the cells to start dividing again, raising hopes they could be used to regenerate healthy tissue. The study, carried out on mice and rats by Children's Hospital Boston, appears in the journal Cell. The researchers say their work could provide an alternative to stem cell therapy, which is still largely untested, and carries a potential risk of side effects. In theory, it could be used to treat heart attack patients, those with heart failure and children with congenital heart defects. The key ingredient is a growth factor known as neuregulin1 (NRG1) - BBC

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