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A protein that the heart produces during its early development reactivates the embryonic coronary developmental program and initiates migration of heart cells and blood vessel growth after a heart attack, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found.

The molecule, Thymosin beta-4 (TB4), is expressed by embryos during the heart's development and encourages migration of heart cells. The new findings in mice suggest that introducing TB4 systemically after a heart attack encourages new growth and repair of heart cells. The research findings indicate that the molecule affects developmental gene expression as early as 24 hours after systemic injection. The study will appear in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology.

A research team say they have found a sample of massive galaxies with properties that suggest that they may have formed relatively recently, which runs counter to the widely-held belief that massive, luminous galaxies (like our own Milky Way) began their formation and evolution shortly after the Big Bang, some 13 billion years ago. Further research into the nature of these objects could open new windows into the study of the origin and early evolution of galaxies. 
New research from Vanderbilt University has found students benefit more from being taught the concepts behind math problems rather than the exact procedures to solve the problems. The findings offer teachers new insights on how best to shape math instruction to have the greatest impact on student learning.

The research by Bethany Rittle-Johnson, assistant professor of psychology and human development at Vanderbilt University's Peabody College and Percival Mathews, a Peabody doctoral candidate, is in press at the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.
Researchers have reported that they have been able to determine the molecular structure of a plant photolyase protein that is surprisingly similar to two cryptochrome proteins that control the "master clock" in humans and other mammals. They have also been able to test how structural changes affect the function of these proteins.

The central African belt is a fascinating look back in time for humanity because the largest group of hunter–gatherers of Africa, the Pygmies, still inhabit the region and they coexist with neighboring farmers. 

All African Pygmies, inhabiting a large territory extending west-to-east along Central Africa, descend from a unique population who lived around 20,000 years ago, according to an international study led by researchers at the Institut Pasteur in Paris. The research concludes that the ancestors of present-day African Pygmies and neighboring farmers separated ~60,000 years ago. 
A natural, biological pacemaker; that's what a heart is, right?  Sure, but our hearts can wear out and while artificial heart pacemakers have saved and extended the lives of thousands of people, but they have their shortcomings – such as a fixed pulse rate and a limited life.

Could a permanent replacement biological solution be in our future?   Richard Robinson and colleagues at New York's Columbia and Stony Brook Universities certainly think so, and their work published in the latest issue of The Journal of Physiology outlines how we can bring it a step closer to reality.