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Bone marrow is good for the heart

Avi Blizovsky

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The stem cells may repair hearts and other damaged organs
New research announced in early November 2002 at the largest annual meeting of cardiologists raises the possibility of using the body's own stem cells to repair damage caused by a heart attack.
Doctors speaking at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association in Chicago said researchers have used stem cells extracted from bone marrow in a number of patients and the results are encouraging.
It has been several years since scientists who conducted experiments on animals discovered that stem cells from the bone marrow may repair damage to the heart.
These cells can become several types of blood cells - but in the heart, they may change into muscle cells and replace tissue that has died as a result of a heart attack. Now researchers from the UK have conducted experiments on humans. They extracted bone marrow from 14 people who had experienced a heart attack and injected the cells from the bone marrow back into the patient's heart. (each his own bone marrow).
During the treatment, the heart wall functioned better and this improved blood flow in the body. The doctors now plan to expand their trials to a larger group of patients.
Meanwhile, other researchers, this time from the USA, announced that they had succeeded in turning skin cells into blood vessel cells. They started with a piece of skin less than a centimeter in diameter and twisted it around a thin cylinder. Next, they saturated the skin with chemicals that the body normally uses to make the arteries. They saw that the skin cells had grown into a small tube that appeared to behave exactly like a blood vessel.
These tubes have worked well in animals, and the researchers hope to begin human trials within a year. They will use them as an inexhaustible source of raw materials for bypass surgery, instead of removing veins from the legs, as is customary today.

For news at the BBC

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