Monday, October 04, 2010
ScienceDaily (Sep. 28, 2010) — "Stem cells that glow like fireflies could someday help doctors heal damaged hearts without cutting into patients' chests.In his University of Central Florida lab, Steven Ebert engineered stem cells with the same enzyme that makes fireflies glow. The "firefly" stem cells glow brighter and brighter as they develop into healthy heart muscle, allowing doctors to track whether and where the stem cells are working.
Researchers are keenly interested in stem cells because they typically morph into the organs where they are transplanted. But why and how fast they do it is still a mystery. Now Ebert's cells give researchers the ability to see the cells in action with the use of a special camera lens that picks up the glow under a microscope.
"The question that we answered was, 'How do you follow these cells in the lab and find out where they're going?'" said Ebert, an associate professor in UCF's College of Medicine."
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