New stem cells `found in heart`

Sydney: A new population of adult stem cells unearthed in the heart could potentially open the way to regeneration of heart muscles in cardiac attack victims.

Richard Harvey, professor who heads developmental and stem cell biology division at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute (VCCRI), and Peter Finley, professor at University of New South Wales, say the findings, based on mouse model, are hugely exciting.

"The fact that this new group of cells are multi-potent and highly specific to the heart gives us great hope that when we translate these cells into the human setting, they will work well at regenerating and repairing a broken heart," said Harvey, the journal Cell Stem Cell reports.

The findings come following recent reports in scientific literature and news media that stem cells harvested from human hearts during surgery show promise for reversing heart attack damage. Heart disease is one of the largest killers worldwide, according to a VCCRI statement.


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