Scientists Grow Beating Human Heart

POPULARSCIENCE/INDY100 – January 11, 2017: A team of scientists from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School have used adult skin cells to regenerate functional human heart tissue. After a two-week period the hearts developed well-structured tissue, which appeared similar to that contained in functioning human hearts. When shocked with electricity, they started beating. The team of scientists said that this represents the closest that medical researchers have come to growing an entire beating human heart.

While this isn’t the first time heart tissue has been grown in the lab, it’s the closest researchers have come to producing a functioning organ: Growing an entire working human heart. But the researchers admit that they’re not quite ready to do that. They are planning next to improve their yield of pluripotent stem cells (a whole heart would take tens of billions, one researcher said in a press release), find a way to help the cells mature more quickly, and perfecting the body-like conditions in which the heart develops. In the end, the researchers hope that they can create individualized hearts for their patients so that transplant rejection will no longer be a likely side effect. Link: Read Complete Article

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