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Stem cells, fixing broken hearts

In Health & Lifestyles on December 16, 2011 at 8:03 pm

By: Danzig Decsy

                Stem cell research recently made a huge breakthrough in the world of medicine with promising news for those with broken hearts. After much experimentation with mouse hearts, Australian scientists unveiled a new stem cell. This new discovery was believed to have been the key to maintaining heart muscle and blood vessels and, as originally hoped, produced successful results.

                Stem cells were applied to the hearts of several individuals who had suffered from majorly declining heart health. These cells are designed to grow, and that’s just what they did. Damaged tissues were repaired and replaced, and the hearts of these patients improved to remarkable levels.

By injecting stem cells directly into the heart, damaged tissue can be restored. Photo courtesy of Google images

                This discovery shows convincing evidence that the human heart already contains what it needs to repair itself if called for – stem cells that can re-grow into new heart cells. It’s simply a matter of harnessing that power, which is exactly what a group of researchers led by Robert Bolli attempted to do. According to a study published in The Lancet, this very group grew stem cells from patients with previously damaged hearts. Bolli stated, “Once you reach this stage of heart disease, you don’t get better. You can go down slowly, or go down quickly, but you’re going to go down.”

                However, the patients that received care in Bolli’s study improved quite miraculously. This is excellent news, considering that heart disease is the leading cause of death in theU.S.

                Stem cell research, as most people know, is a major topic discussed all around the world. Its validity and importance is debated amongst politicians, scientists and researchers of medicine, but perhaps this new discovery with heart stem cells will change the minds of some of the skeptics. Stem cell research is becoming more and more promising, and covers a wide range of health issues. Essentially, the same technique used with the heart cells could be applied to repair damaged vital tissues in kidneys, spinal cords or just about anything. It’s almost as if stem cell research could be our link to helping more and more people diagnosed with deadly diseases become future survivors.

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