Post-attack, prodding stem cells can produce new tissue
Broken hearts may be able to mend themselves.
Given the right biochemical motivation, stem cells in a thin layer of cells lining the outside of the heart muscle can replace a small number of the cells damaged by a heart attack, an international group of scientists reports online June 8 in Nature. A small protein called thymosin beta-4 can provide just the sort of stimulus needed to turn dormant stem cells into Mr. Fix-its, Paul Riley, a British Heart Foundation researcher at University College London, and his colleagues found.
Scientists have been searching for ways to make the heart heal itself, but previous evidence for the presen