New gene discovered that could revolutionize heart attack treatment

Scientists at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute in Sydney have discovered a critical new gene that it is hoped could help human hearts repair damaged heart muscle after a heart attack. Researchers have identified a genetic switch in zebrafish that turns on cells allowing them to divide and multiply after a heart attack, resulting in the complete regeneration and healing of damaged heart muscle in these fish. It’s already known that zebrafish can heal their own hearts, but how they performed this incredible feat remained unknown, until now. In research recently published in the prestigious journal, Science, the team at the Institute drilled down into a critical gene known as Klf1 that previously had only been identified in red blood cells. For the first time they discovered it plays a vital role in healing damaged hearts. Dr. Kazu Kikuchi, who led this world first research, said he was astonished by the findings. “Our research has identified a secret switch that allows…