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Diabetes Breakthrough Raises Hopes Of Cure

Artificial Pancreas Breakthrough Brings Hope For Type 1 Diabetics

Artificial Pancreas Breakthrough Brings Hope For Type 1 Diabetics

Artificial pancreas breakthrough brings hope for type 1 diabetics Ask anyone who lives with Type 1 Diabetes and theyll tell you how they hope for a cure. Type 1 diabetics are living with a form of the disease that usually develops early in life when cells of the pancreas responsible for insulin production are destroyed by the immune system. This results in 24/7 monitoring and management of diet, activity and blood sugar levels. Never having a day off from the struggle to keep blood sugar under control, type 1 diabetics face a challenging and sometimes exhausting balance that determines how they feel now and what complications their diabetes could cause in the future. Until now, the only treatment has been insulin replacement with injections or pumps, but researchers are getting closer to a new, ground- breaking therapy known as an artificial pancreas. Whenever you eat or drink, some of the food is broken down into glucose, a sugar that is released into your blood. It is a major source of energy for your body's cells and is transported from your bloodstream and into your cells with the help of insulin, which is made in the pancreas. Insulin is produced by the beta or islet cells inside your pancreas and works continuously to regulate the amount of glucose in your blood. When you eat, the amount of glucose in your bloodstream rises. In response to the elevated blood glucose level, your islet cells produce insulin. The insulin moves the glucose out of the bloodstream and into your cells. In turn, a lower level of glucose is left in the blood stream. To prevent your blood glucose level from getting too low, your body signals you to eat. This starts the process again so that your bodys cells continually receive the energy that they need. The artificial pancreas works in a s Continue reading >>

Diabetes Finding Once Heralded As Breakthrough Is Retracted

Diabetes Finding Once Heralded As Breakthrough Is Retracted

ne of the highest-profile researchers in diabetes has retracted a paper once heralded as a breakthrough, following multiple failed attempts to reproduce its headline-grabbing results. The retraction ends three years of scrutiny into whether a discovery by Harvard University stem cell scientist Douglas Melton was indeed a major advance in the field of diabetes, with the papers authors now conclusively backing away from their earlier findings. Back in 2013, Meltons lab reported a promising discovery: A hormone found in the liver seemed to spur the production of insulin-producing cells in mice, lighting the way for a new approach to treating diabetes. The paper, published in the journal Cell, drew attention around the world, as it suggested a means of boosting insulin by using the bodys own machinery and held out the potential to free millions of diabetes patients from regular injections. In 2014, an independent group of researchers found that the hormone, which Meltons lab dubbed betatrophin, had no effect on insulin production . Meltons team then published a follow-up that cast similar doubts on the initial findings. Earlier this year, Melton joined researchers from Baylor College of Medicine and the Harvard-affiliated Joslin Diabetes Center in publishing a strong refutation of the idea that betatrophin can mobilize a spike in insulin production. In a retraction notice posted this week, Melton and his Harvard co-authors concede that their initial conclusion is wrong and cannot be supported, effectively burying the once-promising idea. This young scientist retracted a paper. And it didnt hurt his career Melton, who was on vacation and unavailable for comment Tuesday, told the Retraction Watch blog he chose to pull the paper in hopes of avoiding confusion. Its a disappoin Continue reading >>

Stem Cell Success Raises Hopes Of Curing Type 1 Diabetes

Stem Cell Success Raises Hopes Of Curing Type 1 Diabetes

SiOWfa14 Science in Our World: Certainty and Cont The course website and blog for the Fall 2014 instance of Penn State's SC200 course Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin, a hormone needed to allow sugar (glucose) to enter cells to produce energy and stem cells are undifferentiated cells of a multicellular organism that are capable of giving rise to indefinitely more cells of the same type. Recently, researchers have determined a large-scale procedure to turn human embryonic stem cells into beta cells that are fully able to produce insulin for those who have type 1 diabetes. The treatment for people with type 1 diabetes tothis day is that they take daily insulin injections to maintain the levels of insulin in their blood. The co-author of this study is Douglas Melton of Harvard University. His goal is to replace insulin injections using natural procedures, like the beta cells. He has reported to ability to make millions of the cells and wants to be able to make a, credit card-sized package of the beta cells. These packets will be inserted into the patient and will not need to be replaced for over a year, a huge advancement for those who take insulin shots everyday. If Meltons research and study works, stem cell research may then be able to be used for all different types of diseases. Aside from stem cells, pluripotent stem cells can also be used to obtain beta cells.Pluripotent stem cells are,pre-specialized adult cells that are reprogrammed to morph into an undifferentiated state, as the article reports. These cells work just as well as normal stem cells. This breakthrough method can be extremely helpful to those who suffer from type 1 diabetes. It will be able to decrease their treatments by inserting one of the p Continue reading >>

Melbourne Scientists Raise Hope For Type 1 Diabetes Breakthrough

Melbourne Scientists Raise Hope For Type 1 Diabetes Breakthrough

Melbourne scientists raise hope for type 1 diabetes breakthrough Melbourne scientists may have made a breakthrough that could help find ways to prevent type 1 diabetes thanks to pioneering research. Melbourne scientists raise hope for type 1 diabetes breakthrough In a world first, St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research (SVI) team managed to isolate immune cells in the pancreas of an organ donor who had the disease. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body's immune cells mistakenly destroy the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. Researchers say that until now, it was not known exactly what the components of the insulin-producing cells the immune system cells targeted in humans. It is hoped the huge advance will make a cure possible. "Manipulating the system provides a promising approach to finding a cure for type 1 diabetes," said researcher Dr Stuart Mannering. Dr Mannering and his team studied a pancreas donated by the family of a 19-year-old man, who died due to complications of type 1 diabetes. "We caught the immune cells at the scene of the crime in the pancreas and we were able to characterise them. No one has been able to do this in humans before," he said. Professor Tom Kay, director of SVI, labelled the discovery 'a technical triumph'. "Researchers do not normally have access to the pancreas from someone with type 1 diabetes and studies have mainly relied on the blood, where such cells are much rare than in the pancreas," he said. The research has been hailed an exciting step towards preventing and potentially curing type 1 diabetes. Around 120,000 Australians are living with type 1 diabetes, yet the exact cause is unknown. More information available on Diabetes Australia website. Continue reading >>

No Insulin Shots? Diabetes 'cure' Under Study In San Antonio

No Insulin Shots? Diabetes 'cure' Under Study In San Antonio

A possible cure for diabetes is on the horizon for the millions of people who suffer from the disease. The important research is being conducted in San Antonio. The technique is designed to make the body produce insulin on its own again. Diabetic patients have to use finger pricks to check blood sugar and insulin shots to control their glucose levels. "It's part of my daily routine all day and at night before I go to bed, all of it has to be done," said type two diabetic Denise Shank. She has been a slave to this routine for 29 years. She’s among millions of people who have to take injected insulin to control their blood sugar levels. "It's a pain and it’s time consuming," Shank added. "In other words you can’t just get up in the morning and put your clothes on and go somewhere." "This becomes a big burden for diabetic patients," explained Ralph DeFronzo, MD, a world renown diabetes researcher and director of the Division of Diabetes at UT Health San Antonio. "So it would be nice if they could just go around, not ever have to take another insulin injection, not ever have to do a finger stick for glucose." DeFronzo and his colleague, biologist Bruno Doiron, Ph.D., believe they are onto a technique that will be a game changer. It’s called gene transfer. Using lab-created sections of DNA, scientists injected the pancreases of mice with a cocktail of three molecules delivered by a virus. That virus infects the cells, spreading the new gene information and sparking those cells to produce insulin. Sort of like a cold virus makes your nose run. "Basically, what we’re going to do is we’re going to give you a runny pancreas," DeFronzo said. "We’re going to put the genes in the pancreas and the 'runny-ness' is you’re going to now release the insulin." Unlike injec Continue reading >>

Breakthrough Pill Can Cure Diabetes: New Drug Fights Both Types Of Killer Disease

Breakthrough Pill Can Cure Diabetes: New Drug Fights Both Types Of Killer Disease

Handing hope to the millions of sufferers in the UK, the new study suggests that a “probiotic pill” - one containing live bacteria - can radically reduce blood glucose levels. In experiments researchers discovered that using a pill containing common bacteria found in the human gut can shift the control of glucose levels from the pancreas to the upper intestine. It is believed that this “rewiring” of the body could revolutionise treatment for diabetes - both Types 1 and 2 - and potentially one day offer the possibility of a cure. Professor John March, leading the research, said: “If it works really well in people, it could be that they just take the pill and wouldn’t have to do anything else to control their diabetes. It’s likely, though, that it will be used in conjunction with some other treatment.” Diabetes occurs when the amount of glucose in a sufferer’s blood becomes too high because the body cannot use it properly. This happens when the pancreas does not produce any insulin (Type 1), or not enough insulin to help glucose enter the body’s cells – or the insulin that is produced does not work properly, known as insulin resistance (Type 2). But the new study suggests a manufactured probiotic pill could shift control of glucose levels away from the pancreas - addressing both types of diabetes. Published in the journal Diabetes, senior author Professor March and colleagues at Cornell University, New York, told how they had engineered a common strain of “friendly” human gut bacteria called Lactobacillus to secrete a peptide - a hormone that releases insulin in response to food. Lactobacillus is a probiotic often used to prevent and treat diarrhoea, as well as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease and some skin disorders. Over a peri Continue reading >>

Breakthrough Raises Hopes For Testicle Cell Diabetes Treatment

Breakthrough Raises Hopes For Testicle Cell Diabetes Treatment

Breakthrough raises hopes for testicle cell diabetes treatment Men with insulin-dependent diabetes may one day have their condition treated using cells from their testicles. Scientists have succeeded in transforming sperm stem cells into the pancreatic cells that generate insulin. Tests on diabetic mice showed the beta islet cells could produce enough of the vital hormone to start reversing their disease. Researchers hope in future it may be possible to treat men with Type-1 diabetes with islet cells grown from their own spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs). Because the therapeutic cells would originate from their own bodies, they would not be rejected by the immune system. Egg stem cells may have the same potential to change into islet cells, which could benefit female patients, the scientists believe. However, a leading charity warned against raising premature hopes of a cure. Type-1 diabetes, which affects about 300,000 people in the UK, is an auto-immune disease in which insulin-producing cells in the pancreas are gradually destroyed. Doctors have investigated replacing the lost cells with transplants from deceased patients, but there are few suitable donors and rejection is a serious problem. Experiments with "induced pluripotent" stem (IPS) cells ordinary cells reprogrammed to have the properties of stem cells from embryos have also met with obstacles. The technique produces tumours in mice and involves inserting genes, which can be harmful. Instead of IPS cells, the new research focused on SSCs, early precursors of sperm cells found in the testes. They come ready-equipped with the genes necessary for them to morph into "pluripotent" cells cells capable of launching themselves on many different development paths. A US team led by Ian Gallicano, from Georgetown Univer Continue reading >>

Diabetes 'breakthrough' As Insulin-producing Cells Formed In Lab

Diabetes 'breakthrough' As Insulin-producing Cells Formed In Lab

Diabetes 'breakthrough' as insulin-producing cells formed in lab Millions ofinsulin-producing beta cells have been manufactured in the laboratory usinghuman stem cells by scientists at Harvard University. Tests onmice with type 1 diabetes showed that these lab-made cells could treat the diseasefor several months as they produced insulin and subsequently controlled bloodsugar levels. 'If thisscalable technology is proven to work in both the clinic and in themanufacturing facility, the impact on the treatment of diabetes will be a medicalgame-changer on a par with antibiotics and bacterial infections,' commented Chris Mason , professor of regenerative medicine at University College London,who was not involved in the study. Overall theresearchers screened about 150 different combinations of chemical growthfactors, which had been previously described in playing a role in pancreaticbiology. They found that combining 11 of these chemicals could transform embryonic stem cells into functioning beta cells cells which make the insulin hormone within the pancreas. People withtype 1 diabetes, which affects about 400,000 people in Britain, lack beta cellsbecause their own immune system destroys them. 'There havebeen previous reports of other labs deriving beta cell types from stem cells,[but] no other group has produced mature beta cells as suitable for use inpatients,' said lead author of the study Professor Doug Melton . He added: 'Thebiggest hurdle has been to get to glucose-sensing, insulin-secreting betacells, and that's what our group has done.' ProfessorMelton started the research 23 years ago after his son Sam was diagnosed withtype 1 diabetes. 'He hopes to have human transplantation trials using the cellsunder way within a few years,' reports the University of Harvard pres Continue reading >>

Diabetes Breakthrough Raises Hopes Of Cure

Diabetes Breakthrough Raises Hopes Of Cure

Diabetes breakthrough raises hopes of cure A cure for diabetes could be on the way after a breakthrough by US scientists. Could not subscribe, try again laterInvalid Email A cure for diabetes could be on the way after a breakthrough by US scientists. Experts believe stem cells - which can turn into different kinds of bodily tissue - could be used to re-educate the immune systems of people with Type 1 diabetes. The condition is caused by the bodys defences attacking cells in the pancreas and requires daily injections of insulin to regulate the patients blood sugar levels. The stem cells were used by scientists at the University of Illinois at Chicago to restart pancreatic function, reducing the need for insulin, the study in the journal BMC Medicine showed. Richard Elliott, research communications officer at Diabetes UK, said: Although the research involved only 15 participants and is still at a relatively early stage, it is innovative and appeared to offer improvements in the control of blood glucose, even in those with longstanding Type 1 diabetes. We will be interested to see the results of further studies with larger numbers of participants so that the value of this approach for people with diabetes can be determined. Type 1 diabetes develops when the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas have been destroyed and the body is unable to produce any insulin. Insulin is essential because it allows glucose to enter the bodyscells where it is used as fuel. In Type 1 diabetes, the body is unable to produce any insulin so glucose builds up in the blood. It can develop at any age but usually appears before the age of 40 - and especially in childhood. Type 1 diabetes accounts for between 5% and 15% of all people with the condition and is treated by daily insulin injections, Continue reading >>

Is A Cure For Type 1 Diabetes 'within Reach'?

Is A Cure For Type 1 Diabetes 'within Reach'?

"Type 1 diabetes cure within reach after breakthrough," The Independent reports after researchers have managed to "coax" human stem cells into becoming insulin-producing cells. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition where the body's own immune system destroys the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. Insulin is a hormone that plays a vital role in regulating blood glucose levels. There is currently no "cure" for type 1 diabetes and no way to replace these destroyed cells, making the person reliant on lifelong insulin injections. This study aimed to see if it would be possible to develop these insulin-producing cells from stem cells in the laboratory. The researchers demonstrated they were able to successfully produce large numbers of functioning stem cell-derived cells that looked structurally similar to normal pancreatic cells, and produced insulin in response to glucose in the same way. The function of these cells was demonstrated both in the laboratory and when transplanted into live mice, including mice genetically engineered to have diabetes. The findings are positive, but the research is still in the very early stages. Further development will be needed to see whether stem cell-derived pancreatic cells could function normally in people with type 1 diabetes. There is also the question as to whether the transplanted cells could also be targeted by the body's immune system. Overall, it is too early to know whether there could one day be a complete "cure" for type 1 diabetes. Where did the story come from? The study was carried out by researchers from Harvard University and was funded by the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, the National Institute of Health, Helmsley Charitable Trust, the JPB Foundation and personal contributions. It was published in the peer-review Continue reading >>

Type 1 Diabetes Breakthrough Using Stem Cell Research Raises Hope For Cure

Type 1 Diabetes Breakthrough Using Stem Cell Research Raises Hope For Cure

Scientists believe they have made a major advance in the quest to find an effective treatment for type 1 diabetes. Using human embryonic stem cells as a starting point, they have for the first time been able to create human insulin-producing beta cells equivalent in almost every way to normally functioning beta cells in the kind of large quantities needed for cell transplantation and pharmaceutical purposes. Doug Melton, Xander University Professor at Harvard University, who led the work, said he hopes to have human transplantation trials using the cells under way within a few years. The stem cell-derived beta cells are currently undergoing trials in animal models, including non-human primates. Prof Melton, who is also co-director of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, said a device being tested had so far protected beta cells implanted in mice from immune attack for many months. “[While] there have been previous reports of other labs deriving beta cell types from stem cells, no other group has produced mature beta cells as suitable for use in patients,” he said. “The biggest hurdle has been to get to glucose-sensing, insulin-secreting beta cells, and that’s what our group has done. “We are now just one pre-clinical step away from the finish line.” Beta cell transplantation as a treatment for diabetes is still essentially experimental. It uses cells from cadavers, requires the use of powerful immunosuppressive drugs and has been available to only a very small number of patients. Professor Elaine Fuchs, of Rockefeller University, described the findings as “one of the most important advances to date in the stem cell field”. “For decades, researchers have tried to generate human pancreatic beta cells that could be cultured and passaged long term under condit Continue reading >>

Type 1 Diabetes: Immune Cells 'caught' In Organ Donor's Pancreas, Raising Hope For Cure

Type 1 Diabetes: Immune Cells 'caught' In Organ Donor's Pancreas, Raising Hope For Cure

Type 1 diabetes: Immune cells 'caught' in organ donor's pancreas, raising hope for cure Researchers believe they have made a breakthrough that could help find ways to prevent type 1 diabetes, after catching immune cells at the "scene of the crime". The St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research team in Melbourne managed to isolate immune cells in the pancreas of an organ donor who had the disease. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body's immune cells mistakenly destroy the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. The researchers said that until now, it was not known what components of the insulin-producing cells the immune cells targeted. It is hoped the find will help researchers manipulate the immune system to try to find a cure. Researcher Dr Stuart Mannering has labelled the discovery a "triumph". "What we've been able to do for the first time is look at the immune cells that burrow into the part of the body where insulin is made, which are the islets found in one's pancreas," Dr Mannering told the ABC. "What we've been able to do for the first time is take out islets from a person who has sadly died but had type 1 diabetes, and study these immune cells." If killing the insulin-producing cells is the crime, we have tried to examine which immune cells are at that scene and what they are doing. "How I like to describe it is at the scene of the crime. "So if killing the insulin-producing cells is the crime, we have tried to examine which immune cells are at that scene and what they are doing." Dr Mannering said they had suspected how the cells interacted from past genetic studies but had never been able to study it in detail. "We've known from studying slices of tissue that the immune cells infiltrate the part of the body where insulin is made, but this is the first tim Continue reading >>

Stem Cell Success Raises Hopes For Type 1 Cure

Stem Cell Success Raises Hopes For Type 1 Cure

THURSDAY, Oct. 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- In what may be a step toward a cure for type 1 diabetes , researchers say they've developed a large-scale method for turning human embryonic stem cells into fully functioning beta cells capable of producing insulin . Type 1 diabetes , an autoimmune disorder affecting upwards of 3 million Americans, is characterized by the body's destruction of its own insulin -producing pancreatic beta cells. Without insulin , which is needed to convert food into energy, blood sugar regulation is dangerously out of whack. Currently, people with type 1 diabetes need daily insulin injections to maintain blood sugar control. But "insulin injections don't cure the disease," said study co-author Douglas Melton, of Harvard University. Patients are vulnerable to metabolic swings that can bring about serious complications, including blindness and limb loss, he said at a teleconference this week. "We wanted to replace insulin injections using nature's own solution, being the pancreatic beta cell," Melton said. Now, "we are reporting the ability to make hundreds of millions of these cells," he added. Melton ultimately envisions a credit card-sized package of beta cells that can be safely transplanted into a diabetes patient and left in place for a year or more, before needing to be replaced. But between then and now, human trials must be launched, a venture Melton thinks could begin in about three years. If that research pans out, the Harvard team's results may prove to be a benchmark in the multi-decade effort to deliver on the promise of stem cell research as a way to access new treatments for all sorts of diseases. Melton, co-director of the Stem Cell Institute at Harvard, described his work as a "personal quest," given that he has two children with Continue reading >>

Medical Breakthrough Raises Hopes Of A Cure For Devastating Huntington's Disease

Medical Breakthrough Raises Hopes Of A Cure For Devastating Huntington's Disease

Medical breakthrough raises hopes of a cure for devastating Huntington's disease A new drug killed off the faulty protein responsible for spreading the disease which leaves sufferers in a vegetative state. Professor Sarah Tabrizi has been heading research into the cruel brain disease (Image: Screengrab/Getty) Could not subscribe, try again laterInvalid Email A cure for the devastating brain disease Huntingtons may have been discovered. In medical trials, a drug killed off the faulty protein responsible for spreading the disease. Huntingtons, previously seen as unstoppable, leaves sufferers in a vegetative state, killing within 10 to 20 years of the first symptoms. Award-winning Professor John Hardy called it potentially, the biggest breakthrough in 50 years in neuro-degenerative disease. Experts hope the drug can be used on disorders such as Alzheimers and Parkinsons . Professor Sarah Tabrizi, who headed research at University College London , said: For the first time a drug has lowered the disease- causing protein in the nervous system and the drug was safe and well tolerated. She said there now had to be a trial to test if the drug slowed progression of the disease. Huntingtons is caused by an error in a section of DNA. The new technique kills off a strand of genetic code which delivers faulty instructions to kill brain cells. Forty-six patients in the UK, Germany and Canada had the drug injected. About 8500 people in the UK have Huntingtons. Continue reading >>

Protein Discovery That Could Reverse The Damage Of Diabetes: Breakthrough Could Lead To Cheap Drug That Would Halt Disease

Protein Discovery That Could Reverse The Damage Of Diabetes: Breakthrough Could Lead To Cheap Drug That Would Halt Disease

Raises hopes of a cheap drug which could halt one of the world's fastest growing diseases Scientists have discovered a treatment for type 2 diabetes which could reverse the disease. The researchers found that a protein which is already naturally produced in the body cured the disease in mice and they are confident that it could be easily replicated in humans. The breakthrough raises hope of a cheap drug which could effectively halt one of the world’s fastest growing diseases. The protein, called FGF1, already plays a natural role in human cell growth and tissue repair - but it never usually enters the blood stream. Diabetes experts found that when the protein was injected into a muscle and interacted with the blood, it dramatically reduced blood sugar levels. Crucially, the protein also seems to reverse the root cause of type 2 diabetes - making the metabolic system react to insulin when it had been failing to do so. In obese mice with a rodent version of type 2 diabetes, just one injection of the protein FGF1 restored blood sugar levels to a healthy range for more than two days. Continued treatment with the protein reversed insulin insensitivity, they found. People with type 2 diabetes gradually become less sensitive to the effects of the hormone, forcing up their blood sugar. Professor Ronald Evans, of the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California, said: ‘This is a big deal - this treatment is very simple to make. We are at a very early stage but we know all about this protein already so we have a head start. ‘Type 2 diabetes is an epidemic in the modern world and current treatments are not sufficient – it is not properly controlled. ‘This treatment offers a new method to control glucose, in a powerful, potent and very unexpected way. ‘The fact that simple re Continue reading >>

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