BMAT 2021 section 2 Q 1

A person wih cardivascular disease is at risk of heart attack. A blood clot may form in one of the arteries that supply blood to the heart. If the blood clot blocks the artery, blood will be unable to reach some of the cells in the heart. These cells will die due to lack of oxygen.

Scientists aim to develop a treatment that uses stem cells to replace the cells damaged during a heart attack.

Which of the following statements about cardiovascular disease and possible stem cell treatment after a heart attack is/are correct?

  1. cardiovascular disease is a communicable disease that is caused by the interaction of many factors.
  2. embryonic stem cells could be used for this treatment because they can differentiate into muscle cells in the heart.
  3. the treatment to replace damaged cells in the heart with stem cells could increase the risk of cancer developing.


The answer is 2) and 3).
i don’t think i’m understanding the phrasing of 2).
we induce specific differentiation of embryonic stem cells EX VIVO, not IN the heart, i don’t see how that would work as a therapy…
is the phrasing saying “muscle cells in the heart” to let us know that there’s no ambiguity with other types of cells, so we’re sure we’re not making skeletal or smooth muscle cells?

how would you interpret this question?

I think why 2 is correct as embryonic stem cells being Pluripotent, meaning they can divide into multiple stem cells as well as can become any type of cell in the body so, this feature can be used for the regeneration of certain organs as well as tissues and heart being one of them.
Ya i agree the way option 2 is written is quite confusing a more better statement would have been “muscle cells of the heart” i think is what questions mean although i can be wrong regarding my interpretation of the question.
Hope it helps:)
if anyone has a better explanation regarding this kindly reach out.


“differentiate into” is phrased mostly because of correct English. Differentiate into is sort of like “to turn into something” or to change, which I believe is what they mean as embryonic stem cells can become smooth muscle cells to replace the damaged cells. Don’t overthink it :)) maybe that’s how they confuse students.