Haifa scientists have adapted an innovative Japanese gene-implantation technique and succeeded in "turning back the clock" for human skin cells, reprogramming them into artificial embryonic stem cells and then switching them into heart cells in the lab. Although implementing this clinically to repair damaged human hearts is at least a decade or two away, the Israeli accomplishment can already be utilized for in-depth study of genetic diseases and the development of personalized drugs for inherited disorders, such as those involving irregular heartbeat.
Prof. Lior Gepstein, a senior cardiologist at Rambam Medical Center and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology's Rappaport Medical Faculty, heads a team of 12 that has just published its findings in the latest issue of the prestigious journal Circulation. Nearly three years ago, Gepstein made headlines by creating beating cardiac tissue in the lab from human embryonic stem cells and bringing about the creation of tiny blood vessels within the tissue - which could eventually make it possible to implant the tissue in a diseased human heart. The team's work is based on that of Prof. Shinya Yamanaka, a 47-year-old Japanese physician and stem cell researcher at Kyoto University.
Lire l'intégralité de l'article » (Source: article de Judy Siegel-Itzkovich @ The Jerusalem Post)