Scientists trying to find ways to regenerate a damaged heart have shed more light on the molecular mechanisms that could one day make this a reality. Whilst other organs such as the liver can regenerate, the heart muscle has very little ability to do so after suffering damage, such as a heart attack.
In the womb the body is able to produce heart muscle cells but soon after birth it effectively stops producing them.
Many lower organisms retain the miraculous ability to regenerate form and function of almost any tissue after injury. Humans share many of our genes with these organisms, but our capacity for regeneration is limited. So scientists are studying the genetics of these organisms to find out how regenerative mechanisms might be activated in humans.
Breaking news: Stem cells don’t come with user manuals. That may be a little daunting for those of us who remember the VCR with its blinking 12:00 that you could never seem to get rid of. But thanks to some persistent scientists, the secrets of stem cells are finally coming out and a new discovery just helped solve a huge piece of the puzzle. All this thanks to a new technique that coaxes stem cells [which can become any cell in the body] to take the first step to specialization.