Valentine’s Day has finally come and gone. Did you perhaps live one of the horror stories that we’ve all heard before? Horrible date? Bad break up? Suffering from the broken heart malady that I mentioned in just my last post? <Yeah, I know I’ll quit with the cheesy broken heart metaphors after this week.>
While a broken heart may be a real ailment, cardiac disease and heart attacks are a much more serious business. Luckily, some recent work is out there to give us hope.
Chocolates? Check. Card? Check. Dinner reservations? Done and done. Dozen roses? Two dozen? Hell, I don’t know how much you make – personally, I’m on a grad student stipend. Carnations, perhaps? Regardless, fellas, you better be on your A game today.
No matter how much you really believe in this “holiday” or not, I still think everyone enjoys spending a special day with a special someone. Unfortunately, not everyone can be lucky in love.
For all that Johnson & Johnson seems to have been able to create over the years, a Band-Aid to mend a broken heart is, unfortunately, not one of them. Not to knock a great company, but more to highlight some recent incredible achievements in the field of bio-engineering and medicine.
Research done by David Stout, a biomedical engineering PhD student in the lab of Dr. Thomas Webster of Brown University, may serve to fill in this hole in our hearts – literally. His work, published in Acta Biomaterialia, explains the creation of a nanopatch, veritable band-aid, for the heart.
Stem cells seem to be at the forefront of endless avenues of controversy these days, but the promise that they could hold for treatment of a range of diseases, often gets lost in the shuffle. The debate, of course, comes in when discussing the use and study of embryonic stem cells, for obvious reasons. However, not all “stem cell research” should get slapped with the connotations that embryonic research is saddled with. Plenty of amazing work is being done to investigate stem cell therapeutics in a range of contexts, and here I present a promising preclinical study that was published in Circulation, the Journal of the American Heart Association. This work, lead by Sunjay Kaushal, MD, PhD at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, investigated the potential of using cardiac stem cells to regenerate damaged heart tissue in adolescents with heart disease.