Skip to main content
  1. Ethical Science News

  2. Nov 13, 2020

Understanding the Complexity of the Human Heart

Study in a Sentence: In order to better understand cardiac mechanisms and development, scientists have characterized the molecular processes of the different cells in the healthy adult human heart on a single-cell level, defining a complete “atlas” of the functions of human cardiac cells.

Healthy for Humans: Developing a comprehensive transcriptomic landscape of the human heart establishes a reference from which disease mechanisms and therapeutic strategies can be understood. Single cell and nuclear transcriptomics were analyzed for 11 cell types from 14 healthy adult donors using the 10X Genomics platform. Using artificial intelligence to analyze the gene signatures of nearly 500,000 single cells and nuclei, scientists generated an intricate picture of the muscle, vascular, and immune cells that make up the human heart.

Redefining Research: Understanding the heterogeneity of cell types and tissues in the healthy human heart is a critical step for developing and evaluating models of heart function and disease. The heart cell atlas is part of the International Human Cell Atlas Initiative of the Wellcome Sanger Institute which seeks to map every cell of the human body.


Litviňuková, M. et al. Cells of the adult human heart. Nature. 2020.

More on Ethical Science