Science News - April 24th, 2008

Heart cells cultured in the lab
Scientists have moved a step closer to creating functioning heart tissue for transplants in the lab.
They have grown three types of human heart cells from cultures derived from embryonic stem cells. When a mix of the cells was transplanted into mice with simulated heart disease, the animals' heart function was significantly improved.
The study, by a team of Canadian, US and UK scientists, features in the journal Nature.
The researchers created the cells by supplying embryonic stem cell cultures with a cocktail of growth factors and other molecules involved in development.
By supplying the right growth factors at the right time, they encouraged the cells to grow into immature versions of three different types of cardiac cell.

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