Heretics defy Bush -- continue to explore ways in which stem cells promote healing

From Scientific American

October 08, 2004

Stem Cells Secrete Healing Chemicals

... A report published today in Science demonstrates a different approach, which rescued mice that otherwise would have died from a genetic heart defect before birth. Instead of replacing the defective cells, embryonic stem (ES) cells released chemical signals that caused the defective heart tissue to grow properly.

Mouse embryos that lack multiple Id proteins die before birth because the wall of the heart is too thin. To buy themselves more time to study the blood vessels, the researchers injected 15 normal ES cells into early mouse embryos. About half of the embryos actually survived past birth, and exhibited normal-looking hearts. “It came as a complete shock to us that they were born. We were just hoping to extend their lives by a day or two,” Benezra says.


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