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December 30 2012

Virus rebuilds heart's own pacemaker in animal tests


A new pacemaker has been built inside a heart by converting beating muscle into cells which can organise the organ's rhythm, US researchers report.

The heartbeat is controlled by electrical signals and if these go awry the consequences can be fatal.

Scientists injected a genetically-modified virus into guinea pigs to turn part of their heart into a new, working pacemaker.

The study was published in the journal Nature Biotechnology.

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