Magicians Scientists have converted skin cells into beating heart muscle, in an act that we're willing to declare "some crazy Harry Potter shizz."
But really, wrap your head around this: Scientists have succeeded in taking skin cells from patients with heart failure and turning them into healthy, beating heart tissue!
This tissue could one day be used to treat the condition, so this is a VERY incredible thing to have happened!
There are still many years of tests ahead (clinical trials could start within the decade), but we're totally on the right track. This could even lead to a way for doctors to convince the tissue to just repair itself!
Here's what one of the scientists said:
"We have shown that it's possible to take skin cells from an elderly patient with advanced heart failure and end up with his own beating cells in a laboratory dish that are healthy and young - the equivalent to the stage of his heart cells when he was just born."
They take skin cells and transform them by adding three genes and then a small molecule called valproic acid to the cell nucleus. The cells were then able to differentiate to become heart muscle cells, and placed in a dish with existing heart tissue. Within 24 to 48 hours the two types of tissue were beating together.
Our. Minds. Are. Blown.
None of this is ready yet, of course, but that doesn't mean it can't be really encouraging!
[Image via AP Images.]