Article published on the Raconteur website.
Almost 500 people suffer a heart attack every day in the UK and seven out of ten survive. But the uplifting statistic masks a deeper problem in that most will join the 550,000-strong ranks of people living with debilitating heart failure.
Heart transplants are rare – only 181 were performed in 2014 – so the Holy Grail in cardiology is the ability to stimulate the heart to repair itself and regrow naturally.
It seems that nature has been kind by ensuring some of the cells that cause the heart to form in the embryo persist in adulthood, although they stay dormant during the ageing process when the heart deteriorates.
But scientists have discovered a method of re-activating some of the cells to create new heart tissue that could have a curative impact on diseased hearts and generate an improved quality of life to those who normally would have been consigned to a slow-paced decline.
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