Toward regenerative medicine: Progress in turning damaged tissue into healthy heart muscle
CGI of heart and chest cavity.

Researchers are reporting progress in transforming damaged heart cells into healthy heart muscle cells, a finding that could help revolutionize the treatment of heart disease. In the study, scientists used a variety of techniques to identify the molecular changes needed to transform heart fibroblasts (scar tissue cells) into cardiomyocytes (heart muscle cells). The cell programming techniques could benefit not only heart disease patients, but people with cancer, diabetes, neurological diseases, and other conditions, the researchers say. Their study, published in Nature, is partly funded by NHLBI.