A*STAR scientists discover novel hormone essential for heart development
Scientists at A*STAR have made an unusual discovery which could provide new treatment options to common heart diseases and hypertension.
They've identified a gene encoding a hormone - which they have named ELABELA.
Using zebrafish designed to specifically lack this hormone, they uncovered that ELABELA is indispensable for heart formation.
Zebrafish embryos without this gene had rudimentary or no heart at all.
As some people might have a harmful copy of the ELABELA gene in their genetic make-up, screening for this particular gene in the general population might also help to detect predisposition to heart anomalies before the disease progresses.
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