Scientists from the University of California Los Angeles claimed to have made heart and blood cells from so-called induced pluripotent stem cells. The iPS cells which are transformed skin cells is believed to have the powers of embryonic stem cells.

The study, published in the journal Stem Cells Express, professes that a new type of powerful stem cell made from ordinary skin cells has been coaxed into becoming three different types of heart and blood cells in mice. Thus the study is said to have a step forward to the possibility of using the cells to treat heart disease in humans.

Dr. W. Robb MacLellan of the University of California, Los Angeles and colleagues got their mouse iPS cells to differentiate, or mature, into cardiomyocytes, which are cardiac muscle cells that contract with the beating heart; vascular smooth muscle cells, the specialized muscle cells lining the blood vessel walls; and hematopoietic or blood-forming cells.

Another team also claimed to conduct similar test with human embryonic stem cells.