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Heart has cellular regeneration ability

Post-attack, prodding stem cells can produce new tissue

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4:54pm, June 8, 2011

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.

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