Doctors at the Mayo Clinic have shown that stem cells can treat and cure an inherited heart disease.
Researchers genetically altered mice to have a congenital heart defect that typically leads to heart failure. They then transplanted embryonic stem cells into the heart wall.
Within one month the hearts of the treated mice were completely repaired. The untreated mice had died.
Researcher Andre Terzic said this is a major step forward in stem cell research.
"Whether it is now applicable to other conditions remains to be seen but it is a major step forward in using stem cells that up to now has been primarily used to treat so-called acquired diseases, diseases of adulthood," Terzic said.
Two universities in Japan also contributed to the study.