Over 23 million people across the world are affected by heart attacks, which can really do a number on the vital organ causing structural damage and the formation of a scar. A recent Business Recorder article contained good news for those recovering from the adverse cardiac event. Apparently a team of scientists at King’s College London has devised a way to repair damaged heart cells and reduce the risk of heart attacks using gene therapy. It’s achieved by inserting a gene into a patient’s cells rather than employing medicines or surgery.
The team deployed a small piece of genetic material called microRNA-199 into pig hearts after they suffered a heart attack. Within a month, the hearts had regained nearly all cardiac function. We’re still a ways off from using the technique on humans, but the future looks promising for this innovative technique.