In Brief

New strategy using stem cells for regenerative health

Mayo Clinic researchers, along with Belgian collaborators, have produced potentially revolutionary work using cardiac stem cells. Stem cells were formerly understood to have a limited ability to heal and repair the heart when separated from patients.  However, the Mayo Clinic’s new technology programs adult stem cells to acquire cardiac-like properties, and in turn, repair damaged heart tissue. The research, conducted on bone marrow stem cells from eleven heart disease patients, revealed that two of the patients’ stem cells possessed an unusual ability to heal and repair the heart. The researchers then used these cells to program non-reparative stem cells to take on restorative properties.

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