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Mending Broken Hearts

Look around you. One in every five men and one in every six women living in the UK die from heart disease–and people of South Asian origin are at highest risk.

It’s heart-breaking; quite literally.

When we have a heart attack, our heart muscle is damaged permanently, and medical treatment only limits the extremity of the effect this has on our day-to-day life.

But the miraculous zebrafish (originally from India), can repair its own heart and regrow damaged heart muscle. The British Heart Foundation, which provides free resources available to the South Asian community, is using the zebrafish to learn a little something about human matters of the heart.

Here’s how:

They’ve got heart

Zebrafish have a fully functioning simple heart and circulatory system. If part of their heart is removed, they can grow it back in a matter of weeks! Studying them gives a lot of clues about our own hearts.

They grow fast

Zebrafish heart development begins after just 12 hours of life. They reach adult size – about 3 cm long – in around three months.

They’re see-through

Zebrafish eggs are laid and develop in water. Early in life, zebrafish are transparent. This means researchers can see the heart and blood vessels easily as they grow.

They glow… sometimes

Originally from India and the subcontinent, glowing zebrafish have been developed by scientists.

The BHF’s Mending Broken Hearts Appeal will fund a programme of cardiac regenerative medicine – research to repair or replace damaged or dead heart tissue with new, healthy, functioning heart tissue.

To support this appeal, South Asian Parent will be donating £1 for every ‘love note’ posted on our Facebook wall! Post a note to loved ones, people you admire, strangers, or anyone at all–just a little message of hope can swim a long way!

Post your message on http://www.facebook.com/SouthAsianParent  and add your own zebrafish to the Hope Tank to show your support!



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One Response to Mending Broken Hearts

  1. Suparna January 25, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

    Amazing initiative with heart!!! Love this 😀

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