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mRNA Could Help People Recover from Heart Attacks

The same technology used for the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine may have a new purpose regenerating damaged hearts.

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Messenger ribonucleic acid, aka mRNA, uses information in genes to create a blueprint for making proteins. It essentially delivers instructions for specific proteins to generate new cells. Moderna famously used mRNA technology for their COVID-19 vaccine, which helps activate the immune responses against viruses. According to a recent Freethink* article, researchers at King’s College were able to use mRNA to initiate heart cell regeneration in damaged pig hearts.

When someone suffers a heart attack, it leaves a scar on the muscle tissue because heart muscles don’t regenerate. However, mRNA could spark the production of new cardiac muscle cells to replace the dead ones at the site of damage. So, rather than a scar, the patient’s heart would generate new muscle tissue in that area of the heart. The team hopes to begin human clinical trials in the next couple years.

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