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Research May Save Infants With Heart Defects

Each year, one out of every 125 babies born in the United States has a heart defect. The March of Dimes recently awarded its March of Dime Prize in Developmental Biology to Eric Olson, M.D., a doctor and biologist whose studies focus on mammal and infant heart regeneration. In his studies, Dr. Olson removed large parts of the hearts of infant mice, which were able to regenerate those parts and develop into fully functional adult mice. Dr. Olson found that the younger mice are able to regenerate their hearts early in life, but as they age, the window of regeneration closes. Dr. Olson says these promising results could eventually be used to solve the mystery of human heart regeneration.