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Reading the story of the developing human heart

Reading the story of the developing human heart

Full article issued by The University of Queensland.

ARC-supported researchers have published the most in-depth study to date of exactly how human stem cells can be turned into heart cells. The work involved measuring changes in gene activity in tens of thousands of individual cells as they move through the stages of heart development.

The researchers, who received funding through the ARC's Special Research Initiative in Stem Cell Science and Discovery Projects scheme grants, have used cutting-edge technology of single-cell RNA sequencing to catalogue how individual cells changed as they made the journey from stem cells to mature heart cells. They revealed gene activity patterns uniquely associated with the development of cardiac cells, and in so doing, have vastly increased our understanding of how the heart builds itself. 

The researchers say the finding will help us to learn more about the processes that underlie congenital heart disease (when the heart does not develop properly) and may provide a new strategy for controlling heart regeneration, and will benefit future research into heart development and disease. 

 

 

Image Credit: DS Stories/Pexels

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