Nature and Nurture

This is funny, though I guess not so surprising.
Gene switch helps mice fix their own broken hearts
By Julie Steenhuysen

Heart cells in mice, and in humans, stop regenerating after birth. If the heart is damaged by a heart attack, it cannot create new cells to repair the damage and hearts become less efficient at pumping blood.

"Heart cells don't divide at all in the mammal heart, and that's why we have so much mortality and morbidity," said Dr. Hina Chaudhry, whose study appears in the journal Circulation Research.

Chaudhry and colleagues studied the gene cyclin A2, a gene that is active in embryos, but shut off in adult mammals.

"We genetically engineered these mice to keep expressing this gene that becomes silent after birth," she said in a telephone interview.

The researchers then induced a heart attack in the mice.

At three months, the mice whose cyclin A2 genes had been switched on had 77 percent better heart function than the other mice.

"The mice who did not carry the gene were progressing to heart failure and dying," she said. "We didn't lose any of the mice that carried the gene. They had much better survival."

"We're the first study to show a sustained improvement in cardiac function by any kind of molecular or cellular manipulation," she said.

What thoughtless natural physical exertion does for the brain, - where we've only recently discovered that new cells are made and integrated relevantly - thoughtless (on the part of the critter) artificial genetic manipulation can actually do for the heart.

Effin' eh! I gots ta keep on running!


  1. Fascinating. (Mr spock voice)

    Now, if there were only a way to fix the metaphorically broken heart...

    I hope my life never depends on running. I will lose that race. Last time I tried to run it was in making a mad dash for the front row of the Rolling Stones show. Not a pretty sight, I can guarantee (me running -- not the Stones)

  2. I wanted to come back and thank you for asking about Murphy. He had to have several growths removed from his skin. No cancer involved, thank goodness. He has stitches in about six or seven places on his body. Poor little guy looks like hell since they had to shave around each place. Plus now he has to wear one of those large plastic collars so that he can't scratch or bite where his stitches are located. He's bumping into everything until he figures out the collar is bigger than his head. At his age, he's doing pretty well. I go from feeling so damned sorry for him to laughing at his antics when he gets stuck in a spot due to his collar.

    Thank you again for asking about my little buddy :)

    ps, I think Fred is laughing at Murphy when I'm not looking. When he first saw Murphy's collar it scared the hell out of him. He just looked at Murphy as if to say, WTF, dude?

  3. I just can't do it. I can walk, and walk quickly. But not run. This body will not run unless a) my own butt is on fire, b) one of my children is on fire, or c) I have an opportunity to set George Bush's butt on fire.

    YOU however have stumbled upon a great outlet! Build that lung capacity and replace those cells!


  4. I gotta tell ya, if you're gonna take up running, and you're anything like me, then find a runner who wants/doesn't mind a partner. I could NOT have gotten started w/o her.

    Blueberry! LOL! C'mon now! :))) Really, when I read the story I was gonna go with something along the lines of their headline and that metaphoric take. What they'd discovered just surprised me so much that I had to stick to the meat of the research. VERY cool!

    Oy Pop! I'm glad he's at least got a souvenir for his trouble. Hmmm... Fred did too, eh! Glad all's (getting) well and that there's laughter to be found in it all.

    Here's the trick dead-ahead of me now, MM. Mi amiga just found out on Wednesday that she got the job in Detroit.

    Worst Great news I've ever received... That's all I got to say 'bout that right now.

  5. First: Reality is highly overrated. And running is for faucets. Nah, seriously man, I hope you have all the best, all the time and if not, we'll be here.

    I have to apologize for more than the usual insaneness here. I'm done in with antihistamines for smoke inhalation.

  6. Hey Mary, keep the snark coming, eh! And do whatchya gotta do vis-a-vie the smoke.

    Here's hoping y'alls' regular rain showers come back very soon!

  7. This body will not run unless a) my own butt is on fire, b) one of my children is on fire, or c) I have an opportunity to set George Bush's butt on fire.



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