Geron: Stem cells repair heart attack damage

Researchers from Geron and the University of Washington have completed new animal studies that offer fresh evidence of the ability of embryonic stem cells to repair the damage done by a heart attack. The team injected cardiac cells taken from human ESCs and injected them into rats four days after a heart attack. Not only did the stem cells rebuild damaged heart muscles, they also improved the function of the entire heart.

In a noted achievement, the researchers turned human ESCs into cardiac cells, or cardiomyocytes. This has been one of the toughest feats involved in stem cell research, and the investigators devised a culture technique that was effective in coaxing human ESCs to transform into cardiomyocytes with 90 percent accuracy. Pigs and sheep are next in line for testing with human trials about two years away.

- check out the release
- and read the report on the study from the Financial Times

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