Here we review the highlights of cardiovascular basic science in published in 2021 and early 2022 on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology Council for Basic Cardiovascular Science. We begin with non-coding RNAs which have emerged as central regulators cardiovascular biology, and then discuss how technological developments in single-cell ‘omics are providing new insights in cardiovascular development, inflammation and disease. We also review recent discoveries on the biology of extracellular vesicles in driving either protective or pathogenic responses. The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2021 recognised the importance of the molecular basis of mechanosensing and here we review breakthroughs in cardiovascular sensing of mechanical force. We also summarise discoveries in the field of atherosclerosis including the role of clonal haematopoiesis of indeterminate potential, and new mechanisms of cross-talk between hyperglycemia, lipid mediators and inflammation. The past 12 months also witnessed major advances in the field of cardiac arrhythmia including new mechanisms of fibrillation. We also focus on inducible pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology which has demonstrated disease causality for several genetic polymorphisms in long QT syndrome and aortic valve disease, paving the way for personalized medicine approaches. Finally, the cardiovascular community has continued to better understand COVID-19 with significant advancement in our knowledge of cardiovascular tropism, molecular markers, the mechanism of vaccine-induced thrombotic complications and new anti-viral therapies that protect the cardiovascular system.
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Evans, P., Davidson, S., Wojta, J., Bäck, M., Bollini, S., Brittan, M., Catapano, A., Chaudhry, B., Cluitmans, M., Gnecchi, M., Guzik, T., Hoefer, I., Madonna, R., Monteiro, J., Morawietz, H., Osto, E., Padró, T., Sluimer, J., Tocchetti, C., Van der Heiden, K., Vilahur, G., Waltenberger, J. & Weber, C. 2022, 'From novel discovery tools and biomarkers to precision medicine - basic cardiovascular science highlights of 2021/2022', Cardiovascular Research, article no: cvac114. https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cvr/cvac114