MicroRNAs 'could hold the key to mending damaged hearts'

30 April 2012

People who suffer a heart attack could soon see the organ repaired to its previous effectiveness with the aid of a new medical procedure.

Scientists from the US have been able to display how they can transform the scarred tissue, which occurs as a result of this major heart problem, back into healthy heart muscle cells.

The researchers made use of molecules called microRNAs to trigger the potential medical breakthrough, with the procedure tested in laboratory cells and a living mouse.

Dr Helene Wilson, a research advisor at the British Heart Foundation (BHF), pointed out: "Repairing damaged heart muscle is the main objective of the BHF's Mending Broken Hearts appeal, which funds groundbreaking research that could literally 'mend broken hearts' in as little as ten years time."

The BHF's Mending Broken Hearts appeal is hoping to raise £50 million to fund its research, which involves studying how zebrafish can repair their own hearts.

Scientists are looking to analyse this procedure to see if the same development can be passed into human bodies.

Posted by Philip Briggs

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