Chemical drink breathes life into damaged hearts


HOW do you transform mice with damaged hearts from couch potatoes into treadmill tearaways? A compound that prompts blood to release more oxygen does the trick, raising hopes it could help people weakened by heart attacks. Inadequate oxygen delivery to heart tissue causes many of the symptoms of heart failure, but previous attempts to rectify this have had limited success. Instead, Jean-Marie Lehn of the University of Strasbourg in France tried a new approach: getting haemoglobin in blood to release more oxygen to cells. To do this, Lehn gave mice with heart problems a substance called myo-inositol trispyrophosphate (ITPP). Normally,
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