Heart Cells Transformed Into Pacemakers
Gene therapy could eliminate need for electronic pacemakers.
About 700,000 times a year, surgeons slice a pocket into someone’s chest, implant a battery-powered device and thread electrical leads into the heart. Such pacemakers allow malfunctioning hearts to beat steadily, keeping patients alive.
But in rare cases, the devices can cause infections when implanted, and batteries don’t last forever. What if the body could be coaxed into making new pacemaker cells to replace those destroyed by age, disease or damage?
Researchers took a step in t...