Research funded by the British Heart Foundation looking at tissue fibrosis (scarring), will soon be published in Experimental Gerontology, one the world’s leading journal on ageing. Fibrosis occurs naturally as part of our injury response process but also develops in ageing and chronic disease. Treatments are scant despite fibrosis leading to organ failure and increased risk of death.
The image shows valves (v) in the hearts of young and ‘late middle aged’ fruit flies that have been genetically engineered to express fluorescent collagen, an key ‘scar protein’. Although the fly heart is just two cells wide it represents a lot of the genetic machinery for a human heart. Amazingly, the function of human and fly hearts declines as they age – and they both accumulate collagen.
Our previous work linked heart function with SPARC – a protein associated with fibrosis in humans. We’ve now demonstrated that the heart’s ‘health-span’ during ageing can be significantly lengthened if the expression SPARC is reduced. We also show that if SPARC levels increase – fibrosis is increased too. Hence, we’ve nailed a cause-and-effect relationship between SPARC and heart function which supports the idea of targeting SPARC clinically to control cardiac health and fibrosis.
Paul S. Hartley (Department of Life and Environmental Science).
Best Paper for 2015 Award in the international journal Heart. A paper published by Bournemouth University PhD student, Edward Carlton, and his supervisors, Prof. Ahmed Khattab (FHSS) and Prof. Kim Greaves from the University of the Sunshine Coast in Australia in collaboration with world-renowned hospitals: John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford; Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital in Australia; and Christchurch Hospital in New Zealand has been announced as the Winner of the “Heart Best Paper 2015 Award” . This award is in recognition of the high quality and clinical impact of the paper. The winner for this award were chosen by the Editorial Team from the top 10 papers in each of the following three categories: downloads, citations and Altmetrics Score.
Dr. Edward Carlton has just finished his PhD at BU and he is now working as an Emergency Medicine Consultant in Bristol.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
Carlton EW, Cullen L, Than M, Gamble J, Khattab A, Greaves K. A novel diagnostic protocol to identify patients suitable for discharge after a single high-sensitivity troponin. Heart. 2015 Jul;101(13):1041-6. doi: 10.1136/heartjnl-2014-307288. Epub 2015 Feb 17.
Tonight marks Bournemouth’s first Café Scientifique, taking place at Café Boscanova with doors opening at 7pm going on until 9.30pm. Entry is free; just buy yourself a coffee or a glass of wine from the bar to keep our lovely hosts happy!
Kicking off proceedings will be the AECC’s Professor Jeff Bagust, who is also a Visiting Researcher at BU. Jeff will be delivering a talk entitled “Slow, slow, quick, quick, slow – The Cardiac Foxtrot”. This fascinating and entertaining talk will cover the topic of heart rhythms, how they are influenced and why our hearts need to respond to changing conditions. We will then have an open forum for discussion, allowing you to ask any question you can think of and engage in enlightening conversation.
For anyone who can’t make the launch event on the 2nd October, a podcast of the talk will be recorded, available from the AECC website. Café Scientifique will then take place on the first Tuesday of every month at 7pm, each time guaranteeing a welcoming environment and an enlightening discussion.