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Diabetes, Space-saving DNA, And A Very Important Gene

Diabetes, space-saving DNA, and a very important gene

Diabetes, space-saving DNA, and a very important gene

Last week, you might recall that we looked at a gene called PDX1, a critical DNA sequence that plays a role in the development of a certain type of diabetes—and the actual development of the pancreas in human embryos. Now, as Diabetes Awareness Month continues, let’s take a look at another gene with major implications for sugar regulation. This week we’re focusing on KLF11, an important player in histone modifications (more on that shortly) that can play a role in a rare form of diabetes known as Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young (MODY).
Every cell in the body has a nearly identical set of genes, but when and where these genes are read helps determine the identity and function of any given cell. For example, a neuron in the brain uses genes that instruct it on how to be a neuron. It is equally important that this neuron ignore other genes that carry instructions that are unrelated to neuron function. To do this, our body has developed ways of controlling when a gene is read.
Histone modifications relate to one method of controlling access to genes. DNA is stored within our cells as a combination of both DNA and a class of proteins known as histones. Histones are like genetic “hair curlers,” in that DNA can be wound tightly around them. This allows large amounts of DNA (around 6 feet of DNA in a single cell!) to be stored in microscopic structures known as chromatin. This can be problematic, though, because tight winding of the DNA can leave genes inaccessible—they can’t be used if they’re too tightly wound up.
This is where histone modification comes into Continue reading

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I Had Gestational Diabetes, & It Ended Up Being A Blessing In Disguise

I Had Gestational Diabetes, & It Ended Up Being A Blessing In Disguise


I Had Gestational Diabetes, & It Ended Up Being A Blessing In Disguise
Ive always had a hyperactive sweet tooth. I eat Hersheys Kisses like popcorn. Chocolate pretzels are my go-to treats. And if theres a buffet, you can bet your ass that Ill be at the dessert table, sampling all the pastries available and piling it onto my plate for later.
So you can just imagine the heartbreak I felt when I failed my glucose test and I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes (GD) during my first pregnancy. For those who don't know, GD is a type of diabetes some women develop during pregnancy. The American Diabetes Association defines GD as an increase in your bodys level of blood glucose, the main sugar found in the blood, which is the bodys main source of energy. GD can lead to an increased risk of developing preeclampsia , as well as an increased risk of having a larger baby.
I am a petite Filipina woman. (Before I got pregnant, I was about 5'3'' and 120 pounds.) Because I was reasonably fit before I got pregnant, I didn't think I was at risk for developing any health issues during pregnancy. So when the doctor brought us into her office to explain the findings of my glucose test (which I took at 26 weeks), I quickly went through the first stages of grief, Kbler-Ross style.
There was no way I had GD, I remember thinking. Despite my incessant snacking, I was healthy and not obese and pretty active before I got pregnant. No, my doctor said. Even if I wasnt overweight or obese, an active lifestyle wasnt enough to spare me from the diagnosis. Apparently, the fact that I was non-white Continue reading

Is Celery Good or Bad for Diabetics?

Is Celery Good or Bad for Diabetics?


As diabetes is a complicated disease, diabetic patients have to be wary about what should they eat and what should they not eat. Devising an adequate meal plan is the most important way in which you can manage diabetes in an effective manner. As such, you have to be well-versed with what a food contains and what it does not contain in order to ensure that it does not affect your health in an adverse manner, particularly if you are a diabetic. In this article, we shall study and analyze more about eating celery and how celery might affect the meal plan of a person who happens to suffer from diabetes. So, come and join in for the article Is Celery Good or Bad for Diabetics?
Guideline for Including Celery in Your Diet
To begin with, let us first see the various essential nutrients and vitamins present in this green, leafy vegetable:
Essential nutrients present in celery include folate, manganese, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, calcium, etc.
It is a rich source of vitamins such as vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A, riboflavin, as well as vitamin B6.
It has very fewer calories, saturated fat, and cholesterol
The vegetable may be high in its total sodium content when compared to the other vegetables
Let us now delve into the advantages and disadvantages of including celery in the diet of a diabetic patient.
Benefits of Including Celery in a Diabetic Diet
The following are the advantages of including celery in your diet if you are someone who suffers from a condition like diabetes:
Celery is a rich source of several antioxidants. These, along with several above-mentioned Continue reading

Novo Nordisk: survival of the fittest applies in diabetes and obesity market

Novo Nordisk: survival of the fittest applies in diabetes and obesity market


Novo Nordisk: survival of the fittest applies in diabetes and obesity market
Diabetes specialist Novo Nordisk is feeling the heat from increasingly price conscious US payers. It needs next generation innovation and growth in emerging markets to keep ahead of competitors and meet demands of outcomes-focused payers.
For many years, Denmarks Novo Nordisk was the pharmaceutical company that could do no wrong by shareholders under the 16-year tenure of chief executive Lars Srensen, it achieved an unbroken run of nearly 50 quarters of double digit sales growth.
This great success was founded on successive innovation in insulin products and user-friendly insulin pen devices. The company also expanded into haemophilia and growth disorder treatments, all of which saw revenues rise year on year, its share price growing twelvefold between 2000 and 2016.
But this golden period came to an abrupt halt last year when newly-empowered pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) began to demand major price cuts in the US market, which accounts for around 40% of global diabetes sales, and 51% of Novos revenues. Novo and competitors such as Sanofi and Eli Lilly were forced to give steep discounts or otherwise see their products delisted from reimbursed lists entirely.
This led to Novo cutting its longer-term forecast for sales growth twice: slashed from 15% to 5%, the move sparked an investor crisis of confidence which led to Lars Srensen stepping down from the CEO role two years early.
Novo isnt out of the woods yet in the US: there are continuing battles with PBMs, threats of new price transpa Continue reading

Alexa, tell me about my blood glucose: Health tech startup Wellpepper wins Alexa Diabetes Challenge

Alexa, tell me about my blood glucose: Health tech startup Wellpepper wins Alexa Diabetes Challenge


The Sugarpod, winner of the Alexa Diabetes Challenge. The device is a scale and foot scanner that connects to an app and Alexa skill. (Wellpepper Photo)
Type 2 Diabetes has become a health crisis in the U.S. The rate of type 2 diabetes has nearly doubled in the last twenty years and the disease is now among the top ten causes of death.
Sadly, the problem is only going to get worse: The CDC has projected that the rate of type 2 diabetes could triple by 2050 .
The Alexa Diabetes Challenge is hoping to ease that crisis. The program launched in April, and challenged health technology companies to put Amazons Alexa voice assistant to work in helping those with newly-diagnosed type 2 diabetes.
Voice is a natural interface in healthcare, both in the clinic and in the home.
Monday, the challenges organizersannounced the winner of the $125,000 grand prize: Seattle-based health software startup Wellpepper , which entered its first-ever device in the competition.
The competition was a collaboration between pharmaceutical giant Merck , strategy consultant Luminary Labs and Amazon Web Services (AWS) , the tech giants cloud service. The 98 competitors received mentoring, cash prizes and AWS credits as they moved through the challenges stages. Wellpepper was one of five finalists.
Known as Sugarpod , the winning device is a connected weight scale and foot scanner that integrates with the Sugarpod app and Alexa skill.
Wellpepper CEO Anne Weiler. (Wellpepper CEO)
We knew that voice would be a great interface for interactive care plans but wanted to take it further with an IoT dev Continue reading

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