Scientists Repaired Damaged Heart Cells With Some Genetic Engineering Magic
Aug 28, 2013 11:33
Heart disease is a major leading cause of death. Those who survive, suffer from a heart that does not work as well as they once did. So scientists at Gladstone Institutes are working on coaxing the damaged cells into becoming healthy beating cells once more. They are dabbling on the possibility of eliminating scar tissue and making the heart as good as before the attack.
Scientists successfully experimented this with mice. They took scar cells from live mice and transformed them back into healthy cells by injecting the damaged cells with a cocktail of three genes, referred to as GMT.
The results were disappointing when it came to human cells in a petri dish. The damaged human heart cells could not be fixed with just GMT and required more than that.
They tested the heart cells with a variety of genes and discovered that they needed to add two more genes, MYOCD and ZFPM2 along with a chemical reaction to urge the transformation of the cells. The results became more successful with more damaged heart cells becoming healthy again.
The bigger question to this is, can they replicate this in every other organ and not just for the heart?
For now, the research team is continuing their test in larger animals. If successful they plan to replace the gene mixture with smaller molecules to make injections easier and safer for humans.
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