• Human 'Mini Hearts' Made in Lab

    By Like Nepal

    September 10th, 2015

    Human 'Mini Hearts' Made In Lab

    Living “mini hearts” — structures that resemble tiny, primitive, beating hearts — can be created from human stem cells, researchers say.

    These miniature heartlike structures could help scientists test heart drugs for safety, and learn more about how the heart develops in order to help prevent defects, investigators added.

    “It might even be possible to grow pieces of heart to serve as patches during heart surgery, but that’s a long way off,” study co-senior author Dr. Bruce Conklin, a physician and stem cell biologist at the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease in San Francisco, told Live Science. Researchers could also use these structures as models for fixing damaged hearts, he said.

     Conklin and his colleagues made the hearts from human pluripotent stem cells, which are are immature cells that have the ability to become any tissue in the body. In the past decade or so, researchers have discovered how to use a variety of chemicals linked with stem cell activity to reprogram mature cells into becoming what are known as induced pluripotent stem cells, which could one day replace cells that have been destroyed in people with diseases or injuries.


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