Stem Cells Inside the Heart

(From the New Scientist). Present first generation stem cell therapies for heart damage involve obtaining stem cells from elsewhere and introducing them to damaged heart tissue. As it turns out, there is an existing population of heart stem cells that might be used instead: "Leri and her colleagues have now removed tiny numbers of cardiac stem cells from people undergoing heart operations, grown them in the lab and then transplanted them into the damaged hearts of rats and mice. The results are promising, says Leri, and may eventually give better heart-healing results than bone-marrow derived stem cells. ... We think that these are the cells that normally provide new heart tissue and will most likely be better suited for repair of diseased hearts." Scientists have been finding stem cell populations throughout the body in past years - this will hopefully speed the maturation of early regenerative therapies.



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