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New muscle programming method uses DNA to turn blood into beating heart cells

from Popular Science

A new DNA-based cell-transformation method could be a simpler, safer way to convert cells into beating heart cells, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. It involves no viruses and is a foolproof method to create cardiac cells that beat, they say. Cardiac muscle cells, or cardiomyocytes, are what makes the heart beat. Scientists have been making cardiomyocytes from other cells for some time, usually by making induced pluripotent stem cells from some other cell, like skin cells or blood cells. The cells are reprogrammed into iPS cells by injecting virus particles that have been manipulated to carry genetic information. more

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