Health Highlights: Dec. 17, 201212/17/12
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Virus Creates New Pacemaker in Guinea Pigs' Hearts: Study
A genetically-modified virus turned a part of guinea pigs'
hearts into a new, working pacemaker, a new study says.
The virus was injected into the hearts of seven guinea pigs and
five later had heartbeats which originated from their new
The U.S. scientists published their results in the journal
It's likely the same method can be used in humans, but much more
animal testing is needed before that could ever be considered,
researcher Dr. Hee Cheol Cho, of Cedars-Sinai, told
This research "opens up the tantalizing possibility of using
cell therapy to restore normal heart rhythm in people who would
otherwise need electronic pacemakers," Prof. Jeremy Pearson,
associate medical director of the British Heart Foundation, told
"However, much more research now needs to be done to understand if these findings can help people with heart disease in the future," he added.
Mandela has Gallstone Operation
Nelson Mandela underwent a successful operation for gallstones
on Saturday and remains in hospital for the 10th straight day,
officials in South Africa said.
The 94-year-old anti-apartheid hero has undergone tests and
treatment for a recurrent lung infection since he was hospitalized
on Dec. 8, the
Mandela was leader of the African National Congress and in 1994
became South Africa's first democratically elected president.
Mandela was honored in a song at an ANC convention Sunday.
Mandela was hospitalized earlier this year when he underwent
exploratory abdominal surgery. Last year, he was treated for an
acute respiratory infection,
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