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Heart-shaped heart muscle cells

Scott Metzler, PhD, is a researcher who studies the early development of the heart. He has been studying the action of apelin, a protein that seems to offer some protection against heart disease. Metzler observed that when heart muscle cells are exposed to apelin, the protein clusters at one point on the cell and pulls that spot down toward the center of the cell, making that spot pucker. In the microscope, from the side, these cells start to look like little hearts.

 

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Taken on October 27, 2011