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Induced "pacemaker" heart cells could take the place of man-made pacemakers

Induced "pacemaker" heart cells could take the place of man-made pacemakers | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Scientists at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute have successfully reprogrammed ordinary heart cells to become exact replicas of so-called “pacemaker” heart cells. Such replica cells could conceivably one day be used instead of electronic pacemakers, in patients with heart disease.

 

Also known as SAN cells, pacemaker cells constitute about 10,000 of the human heart’s approximately 10 billion total cells. They generate coordinated electrical impulses that result in rhythmic contractions of the heart muscle – in other words, they allow the heart to beat. If something goes wrong with them, the implantation of an electronic pacemaker is often required ... for now.

 

 

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Pacemaker-like device being trialled as Alzheimer's treatment

Pacemaker-like device being trialled as Alzheimer's treatment | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Researchers are investigating the use of pacemaker-like devices for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
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The process of deep brain stimulation involves using a pacemaker-like implanted device to apply controlled mild electrical pulses to specific areas of the brain. In recent studies, it has been used – with some success – to treat conditions such as Parkinson's disease, major depression and Tourette syndrome. Now, in the ADvance Study, researchers at several research centers are exploring its use in restoring memory function to people with Alzheimer’s disease.

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Cardio-powered pacemakers: human heart more than up to the challenge

Cardio-powered pacemakers: human heart more than up to the challenge | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Research using a prototype piezoelectric energy-harvesting device developed by the University of Michigan suggests that the human heart provides more than enough energy to power a pacemaker, according to a statement released by the American Heart Association.

 

The research has led to fresh speculation that piezoelectricity, electricity converted from mechanical stresses undergone by a generator, may one day provide an alternative to battery-powered pacemakers that need to be surgically replaced as often as every five years.

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Ordinary heart cells become 'biological pacemakers' with injection of a single gene

Ordinary heart cells become 'biological pacemakers' with injection of a single gene | Longevity science | Scoop.it
"Although we and others have created primitive biological pacemakers before, this study is the first to show that a single gene can direct the conversion of heart muscle cells to genuine pacemaker cells. The new cells generated electrical impulses spontaneously and were indistinguishable from native pacemaker cells," said Hee Cheol Cho, PhD., a Heart Institute research scientist.

Pacemaker cells generate electrical activity that spreads to other heart cells in an orderly pattern to create rhythmic muscle contractions. If these cells go awry, the heart pumps erratically at best; patients healthy enough to undergo surgery often look to an electronic pacemaker as the only option for survival.

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Yes, You Can Hack a Pacemaker (and Other Medical Devices Too)

Yes, You Can Hack a Pacemaker (and Other Medical Devices Too) | Longevity science | Scoop.it

The equipment needed to hack a transmitter used to cost tens of thousands of dollars; last year a researcher hacked his insulin pump using an Arduino module that cost less than $20.

 

Barnaby Jack, a security researcher at McAfee, in April demonstrated a system that could scan for and compromise insulin pumps that communicate wirelessly. With a push of a button on his laptop, he could have any pump within 300 feet dump its entire contents, without even needing to know the devices’ identification numbers.

 

At a different conference, Jack showed how he reverse engineered a pacemaker and could deliver an 830-volt shock to a person’s device from 50 feet away – which he likened to an “anonymous assassination.”

 

 

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