Sam McNeil / AP

A Stanford professor and heart surgeon has completed a proof-of-concept study showcasing the potential for photosynthetic cyanobacteria to treat the complications of heart attacks, per Smithsonian Magazine.

The traditional treatment: During a heart attack, heart tissue rapidly stops receiving blood containing oxygen and nutrients, which can lead to severe heart failure and death. So doctors try to get blood to the heart as soon as possible in order to provide critical oxygen and sugars.

The novel solution: The Stanford team injected a lab-grown strain of cyanobacteria — tiny photosynthetic organisms that use sunlight to convert carbon dioxide and water into oxygen and sugars — into a rat's heart and turned on a light. They saw increased metabolism within 20 minutes and improved heart performance in under an hour.

The drawbacks: Right now, the process requires open-heart surgery for the injection of cyanobacteria and the application of light. Additionally, the costs of outfitting hospitals with the equipment necessary for such a time-sensitive procedure might prove difficult.

Go deeper

Updated 35 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 33,156,812 — Total deaths: 998,696 — Total recoveries: 22,961,436Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 7,118,523 — Total deaths: 204,790 — Total recoveries: 2,766,280 — Total tests: 101,298,794Map.
  3. Business: Companies are still holding back earnings guidance.
  4. Health: The childless vaccine — Why kids get less severe coronavirus infections.
  5. World: India the second country after U.S. to hit 6 million cases

Facebook's latest headache: Its own employees' posts

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Facebook’s rules for what people can say on the world’s largest social network have been a long-term headache for the company, but now it faces similar troubles on the internal network its own staff uses.

Driving the news: As political arguments on Facebook’s employee discussion boards have grown more heated and divisive, the company ordered new restrictions on the forums earlier this month, which run on Facebook’s Workplace platform.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
3 hours ago - Energy & Environment

How a conservative Supreme Court would impact climate policy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Amy Coney Barrett's likely ascension to the Supreme Court would affect climate policy beyond shoving the court rightward in the abstract.

Why it matters: If Joe Biden wins the presidential election, his regulations and potential new climate laws would face litigation that could reach the high court.