A low-cost source of stem cells can generate diseased tissue for study in the laboratory, a use that is probably just as important at the present time as regenerative medicine: researchers "have for the first time differentiated human stem cells to become heart cells with cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the heart muscle cells are abnormal. The discovery will allow scientists to learn how those heart cells become diseased and from there, they can begin developing drug therapies to stop the disease from occurring or progressing. ... [Researchers] took patient skin cells and reprogrammed them to become pluripotent stem cells. Such cells can then develop into almost any type of cell in the human body. The researchers then created heart cells that had characteristics of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. ... We knew there was potential in using pluripotent stem cells from people with genetic disorders to develop diseases in vitro, but our study is the first to successfully create abnormal heart cells. Now that we have developed these cells, we can study why they become enlarged and develop treatments to prevent them from overgrowing."