Check Out This Working Half-Rodent, Half-Human Heart

Scientists move one step closer to their target of building artificial hearts.

Human Heart

A team of scientists at the University of Pittsburgh successfully got a mouse heart to beat again, thanks to human stem cells.

The researchers managed to accomplish the groundbreaking medical feat by stripping the heart of its own stem cells and then filling it up with human stem cells. A couple of weeks' perfusion later, the rodent heart had started beating on its own and was even responsive to drugs.

The team's lead scientist Lei Yang reported that the half-mouse, half-human heart currently beats around 40 to 50 times a minute, and they're working to gain more control over it.

The experiment and its success is the first step towards Yang's long-term goal of building artificial hearts that can be used for transplantation in human beings.

"Using our method, we could generate both muscle and vascular-like structures in the engineered heart constructs," says Yang. "We hope to make a piece of human heart tissue soon but our dream is to regenerate a human heart organ."

In the meantime, check out the said rodent's heart beating with human stem cells:

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