The heart can regenerate after myocardial infarction – First experiments with mice

Researchers and cardiologists from the Delbrück Max Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch and the Charité – the University of Medicine of Berlin have shown that the body’s stem cells build muscle after a heart attack new tissue and improve the function of pumping of the heart materially.

Catenin is controlled by the regeneration process of the switch-beta gene which regulates the development of the heart in the embryo. In experiments with mice could Zelarayán Dr. Laura and Dr. Martin W. Bergmann show that animals survive a heart attack better with them if this gene switch is suppressed. (PNAS, online 10 December 2008, doi: 10.1073 / pnas.0808393105).

Heart stem cells from the adult organism are activated especially after damage to the heart, for example from a stroke. Previously, researchers had thought it impossible that the adult body could form enough new mammalian heart muscle tissue to improve heart function.

How animal research helps the development of human treatments: the pros and cons

Animal experiments in medicine is carried out, every day, with the aim of trying to cure ailments that afflict humans. If you go online and look for a cure for some disease you can find a lot of information on websites such as , one of the largest ever regarding online wellness.

Animal testing is a key thing for the improvement of human lives: the experiments are usually carried out by universities, pharmaceutical companies, and from students and researchers of the Faculty of Medicine, all engaged in the common task to help and save man.

Among the pros of this technique, we can certainly see the main reason for which the same is carried out: to find cures for the diseases that afflict man. Some animals tend to react in the same way as humans in response to certain diseases and allergies, and this helps scientists find a cure. Beyond this there are other examples: open heart surgery, coronary bypass surgery or heart transplant surgery were first tested on dogs, insulin for diabetes and life-saving antibiotics were devised through experimentation on dogs. animals and the examples could still go on. Among all, the most used animals are chimpanzees because about 99% of their genes are similar to humans, so experimenting with them gives scientists a better idea about the possible reaction in the human body.

Of course, there are a lot of emotional and ethical issues when it comes to animal testing . The first is the pain of the animal during treatment. The second is the fact that the animals themselves are often kept in unsanitary conditions, in confined spaces, and with little or no food. Statistics show that many creatures lose their lives in experiments, some lose their sight, hearing, or whatever, all in the name of saving lives.

To this, it must be added that for some experiments the result on the animal can be misleading as the response of the same to a drug cannot be absolutely similar to that of a man.

There are pros and cons, as in all things, but animal experimentation remains, today, still important to find the right treatments for diseases, it is something we cannot do without.