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Stem cell research could be damaged organ solution

8th November 2006

Scientists say that they have developed a method by which a patient's own stem cells could be used to treat them following a heart attack.

According to Professor John Martin, who spoke to Sky News, stem cells can be taken from a person's bone marrow and used to help other parts of their body to heal.

"Science has discovered over the last few years that in the body we have a system of cells that circulate, that repair damaged organs, that can repair your eye, or your heart or your pancreas," said Professor Martin.

"What we are going to do is take those cells from the bone marrow from patients who have just had a heart attack and concentrate them in the heart, in the artery that was blocked causing the heart attack. The hope is that that will stop patients having heart failure later in life."

He said that with further research a method could be developed which was not only cheap and simple, but also ethical and practical.

There would be potential to use variations of the same technique to other damaged organs of the body, such as the eye.