“What we have done is prove that these cells do what working heart muscles do, which is beat in sync with the rest of the heart,” says Chuck Murry, a cardiovascular biologist at the University of Washington in Seattle, who co-led the research. ....
The human cells seemed to aid healing: four weeks after the researchers killed regions of the guinea pigs’ hearts to simulate a heart attack, the hearts of animals that received cardiomyocytes exhibited stronger contractions than those that received other cell types. And cardiomyocyte transplants did not seem to cause irregular heartbeats, a common concern for cell-replacement therapy in the heart. In fact, the transplants seemed to suppress arrhythmias.
This is a major breakthrough in stem cell research and heart disease research. Congratulations to Michael LaFlamme and Chuck Murry—both of the University of Washington.
Just as a disclosure: My PhD work was in Chuck Murry's lab, and I have worked in lab with Mike LaFlamme. So, I already thought they were awesome.