August 2, 2012
Researchers Find Surprises In Heart Muscle Cells
UCLA stem cell researchers have found for the first time a surprising and unexpected plasticity in the embryonic endothelium, the place where blood stem cells are made in early development. Scientists found that the lack of one transcription factor, a type of gene that controls cell fate by regulating other genes, allows the precursors that normally generate blood stem and progenitor cells in blood forming tissues to become something very unexpected – beating cardiomyocytes, or heart muscle cells.
Credit: Hanna Mikkola Lab, University of California – Los Angeles Health Sciences