Researchers have used stem cells to create a tiny, beating heart - and say it could revolutionise medicine. The new hearts will allow new drugs to be tested, and give researchers a new insight into how the heart develops.
Dr. Bruce Conklin, a stem cell biologist at the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease in San Francisco, along with colleagues from UC Berkeley, developed tiny hearts using stem cells derived from skin tissue.
Stem cells, the jack-of-all-trades building blocks of human tissues, have yet another application in biology research: scientists have been able to grow them into beating cardiac tissue. This could help scientists better understand how the heart develops and test if drugs might be affect cardiac development in growing fetuses.
Researchers from the Gladstone Institutes and UC Berkeley grew beating heart tissue from stem cells—creating a mini human heart chamber in a dish. The new technology could be used to test drugs that are likely to be dangerous for pregnant women and cause heart defects in the fetus.
PBS News Hour
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