In what could mark a significant breakthrough in the treatment of heart disease, researchers at the University of Washington have successfully repaired damaged tissue in monkey hearts using cells created from human embryonic stem cells. The findings demonstrate an ability to produce these cells on an unprecedented scale and hold great potential for restoring functionally of damaged human hearts.
The researchers were exploring ways of restoring human hearts damaged by myocardial infarctions, a common type of heart attack that blocks major arteries and prevents oxygen from reaching the heart muscle. This lack of oxygen in turn causes damage to the muscle tissue and impacts the ability of the heart to pump blood. The researchers are aiming to restore these hearts to full functionality using cells grown from human embryonic stem cells…
Over the following weeks, the injected cells infiltrated the damaged tissue, maturing to form new muscle fibers and beat in synchrony with the heart. Three months after the injections, the cells appeared fully integrated with the original tissue.
The researchers say that the injected stem cells regenerated 40 percent of the damaged heart tissue, though some side effects were observed. In the first weeks after the injections, the team reported occurrences of irregular heartbeats, also known as arrhythmias. However, the problem subsided after two to three weeks once the cells had matured and become stable.
From here, the researchers will work to reduce the risk of arrhythmias and also to clearly demonstrate that the cells are capable of substantially improving the functionality of a damaged heart. They are hopeful the approach will be ready for clinical trials in humans within four years.
Please, please, let us hope that in the interim – the American electorate in their infinite wisdom doesn’t accidentally put a government in place once again that thinks modern biological advances like this are the work of Satan.