Biologists from MIT and the University of California at San Francisco have outlined how the complex interaction of genes, proteins that bind DNA, and molecules that modify those genes and proteins direct the development of stem cells into mature heart cells.
The study, the first to follow heart-cell differentiation over time in such detail, could help scientists better understand how particular mutations can lead to congenital heart defects. It could also assist efforts to engineer artificial heart tissue.
Publication: Sept. 13 online edition of Cell.
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