Heart telltale

Engineered cardiac cells flash when they beat

By Tina Hesman Saey, 15:32 PM December 17, 2012

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SAN FRANCISCO — A protein borrowed from Dead Sea microbes and re-engineered by researchers makes heart cells light up with every contraction. The flashing cells may offer a way to predict whether new drugs will cause heart problems in people, Harvard researchers reported December 17 at the American Society for Cell Biology annual meeting.

Adam Cohen and his colleagues took a protein that helps a Dead Sea microorganism harvest energy from sunlight and broke the molecule so it w...

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