Scientists are one step closer to replacing mechanical pacemakers with biological ones
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Cardiologists in Los Angeles have developed a gene-therapy technique that allows them to transform working heart-muscle cells into cells that regulate a pigs heartbeat. This procedure, described today in the Science Translational Medicine, restored normal heart rates for two weeks in pigs that usually rely on mechanical pacemakers. The experiment, researchers say, could lead to lifesaving therapies for people who suffer infections following the implantation of a mechanical pacemaker.