Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Using Skin Cells to Repair the Heart

Robert Schwartz of the University of Houston has devised a method for reprogramming human skin cells into early-stage heart cells. These cells can then be implanted and grown into fully-developed beating heart cells, reversing damage caused by heart attacks. Schwartz's method differs from those of other stem cell researchers in that it requires fewer steps and yields more cells. First, the cells are treated with a virus and are transformed into induced pluripotent stem cells. Schwartz then treats the cells with a second factor to make them cardiac progenitors. Shinya Yamanaka's method to derive iPS cells requires four factors and has a 1 percent success rate, but Schwartz’s only needs one and about 70 percent of the treated skin cells become stem cells. Schwartz and his team also hope to be able to generate brain cells for Alzheimer's patients and pancreatic cells for diabetes patients, and they're working on a method for turning induced stem cells into skeletal muscle cells to treat muscular dystrophy.

The Scan

New Study Highlights Role of Genetics in ADHD

Researchers report in Nature Genetics on differences in genetic architecture between ADHD affecting children versus ADHD that persists into adulthood or is diagnosed in adults.

Study Highlights Pitfall of Large Gene Panels in Clinical Genomic Analysis

An analysis in Genetics in Medicine finds that as gene panels get larger, there is an increased chance of uncovering benign candidate variants.

Single-Cell Atlas of Drosophila Embryogenesis

A new paper in Science presents a single-cell atlas of fruit fly embryonic development over time.

Phage Cocktail Holds Promise for IBD

Researchers uncovered a combination phage therapy that targets Klebsiella pneumonia strains among individuals experiencing inflammatory bowel disease flare ups, as they report in Cell.