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Pig heartbeats adjusted with gene therapy

Pigs' defective hearts maintained a healthy rhythm for two weeks when injected with the gene TBX18, researchers report.

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Injecting the gene TBX18 into the defective hearts of pigs prevented the organ from developing abnormally slow rhythms. The protection lasted two weeks, scientists report July 16 in Science Translational Medicine. If shown to work in humans, the biological pacemaker could help patients who cannot have electrical pacemakers implanted.

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