Today’s Solutions: January 30, 2023

One of the biggest challenges facing research around how the human heart develops is access to a developing heart. That may no longer be a problem thanks to a team of scientists who have created the first-ever functional miniature human heart in the lab.

Grown from stem cells, the human heart organoids (hHOs) are made up of all primary heart cell types and have a functioning structure of chambers and vascular tissue. Because of their close structural similarity to the real thing, they could help researchers understand how hearts develop and build better models for treating disease.

To create the mini-organs, scientists first take samples of skin or blood cells from adults, then reprogram them into stem cells, known as induced pluripotent stem cells (IPSCs), that can differentiate into whatever other cell types are needed.

“This process allows the stem cells to develop, basically as they would in an embryo, into the various cell types and structures present in the heart,” says Aitor Aguirre, senior author of the study. “We give the cells the instructions, and they know what they have to do when all the appropriate conditions are met.”

So what’s the point of growing tiny hearts in the lab? The researchers say that they could allow for new treatments of conditions like congenital heart disease and provide an ethical platform for testing drugs and treatments on the heart.

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

An easy hack to counteract the harmful health effects of sitting all day

Humans are not designed to spend the entire day seated. Nonetheless, billions of us do it at least five days per week, as Western ...

Read More

How to change people’s minds without triggering a negative response

People don’t like being told what to do. There’s even a word for it: reactance. “Psychological reactance is a negative emotional state that we feel ...

Read More

The secret to happiness may be a bit of practice

For thousands of years, humans believed that emotions were predetermined hormonal responses out of our control, but in recent years researchers are beginning to ...

Read More

Pennsylvania schools doubled their solar power in the last two years

Renewable energy production is taking off in the Keystone State. A new report from the nonprofit Generation180 reveals that Pennsylvania schools doubled their solar ...

Read More