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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

HEALTH RESEARCH: Researchers turn brain cells into heart cells!

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IANS / The Hindu /  WASHINGTON, July 10, 2011.

Researchers have changed a star-shaped brain cell and a skin cell into a heart cell — offering the possibility of cell-based therapy for cardiovascular diseases.
Heart cells are one of the most sought-after cells in regenerative medicine because they could potentially repair injured hearts by replacing lost tissue.
Researchers of University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine showed the direct conversion of a non-heart cell type into a heart cell by RNA transfer.
The signature of a cell is defined by molecules called messenger RNAs (mRNAs) — the chemical blueprint for making a protein.
Investigators changed an astrocyte (a star-shaped brain cell) and a fibroblast (a skin cell) into a heart cell, using mRNAs, reports the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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