Israeli scientists have isolated a molecule that promotes heart cell regeneration, according to the results of a new study published in Nature magazine, a discovery that could offer hope to millions of sufferers of cardiovascular diseases around the world.
The study, led by Rehovot’s Weizmann Institute of Science in cooperation with several other schools in Israel and in the US, examined the effect of an embryonic protein on adult heart regeneration.
While heart regeneration in mammals has been observed during the prenatal stage, it is virtually impossible for the blood-pumping organ to heal after birth. Any damage to the heart from that point on, through heart attacks or other maladies, is there to stay.
Even worse, the healthy heart muscle cells, or cardiomyocytes, are replaced by scar tissue that places further burden on the remaining healthy cells.
Thus, any damage to the heart only increases the risk of further …
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