British scientists say they have succeeded in growing part of a human heart from stem cells in a medical research first with far-reaching implications. The researchers say it could mean replacement tissue for transplants could become available as quickly as three years, The (London) Guardian reported Monday. Reaching that level, however, will depend on the outcome of animal trials scheduled for this year, the newspaper said.
Yacoub was quoted as saying the latest work had brought forward the goal of growing a whole, beating human heart. The World Health Organization said 15 million people died of cardiovascular disease in 2005. By 2010, it is estimated that 600,000 people worldwide will need replacement heart valves.