Scientists Turn Human Skin Cells Into Healthy Heart Cells
Posted May 30, 2012on:
In a medical first, scientists in Haifa, Israel, took skin cells from two heart failure patients and reprogrammed them into stem cells that generated healthy, beating heart muscle cells in the lab. Though human testing is likely a decade off, the hope is that such cells can be used to help people with heart failure repair their damaged hearts with their own skin cells.
In the current study, scientists first mixed the newly developed heart cells with pre-existing heart tissue — within days, the cells were beating together. The heart tissue was then transplanted into rats, where it integrated with the rats’ healthy heart cells.
DR. JOHN D. CUNNINGHAM / GETTY IMAGES