Adult Stem Cells Used to Create Human Heart

by Christopher White, CBC Director of Research and Education on March 22, 2016

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Earlier this week scientists announced that they had successfully grown a human heart using stem cells. That in itself is a major development. But to the surprise of many these stem cells did not come from embryos, but rather skin cells, making this not only a major development, but an ethical one too.

The ability to create a human heart using stem cells could significantly benefit the over 4,000 people in the United States waiting for a heart transplant. According to the report:

After just two weeks, the networks of lab-grown heart cells already resembled immature but intricately structured hearts. The team gave them a burst of electricity, and the hearts actually started beating.

What was once thought of as a mere dream could very possibly become a reality.

Just two weeks ago researchers at the University of California San Diego announced they had successfully used adult stem cells to cure cataracts and reverse blindness. Both of these recent advancements are not merely examples of medical progress but serve as vindication of those who have long advocated for the use of adult stem cells over embryonic ones, as both ethically responsible and medically beneficial.

Image by thraxil via flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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