A study suggests a dose of a common protein might protect the heart muscle from extensive damage after a heart attack.
A Dallas team of scientists performed the procedure on mice. They found those given the protein showed at least twice the improvement of the other mice recovering from heart attacks.
Researchers are planning a clinical trial as early as next year, where paramedics would give the protein to recent heart attack victims.
Other scientists say the protein could work better and easier than stem cells to repair the heart. That would also avoid the ethical dilemma of stem cell research.
Some say the protein needs to be studied further. One of its troubling features is that it's known to help cancer cells spread throughout the body.