Diabetes Important Breakthrough

A cure for type 1 diabetes may be a step closer as scientists have managed to halt this condition in mice for six months due to the use of insulin-producing cells that had been generated using human stem cells. 

Following implantation in mice, the cells immediately began producing insulin in response to blood glucose levels, and were able to maintain blood glucose within a healthy range for 174 days – the length of the study. 

Experts from U.S hospitals and institutions including Harvard University, they managed to transplant cells into mice, which immediately began producing insulin. 

Hopefully there will be a cure for type 1 diabetes in the not too distant future. This crippling disease affects around 400,000 people in the UK. Scientists are now working to replicate these results in humans who have the condition. 

Harvard Professor Doug Melton who lead the break through, has been trying to find a cure for the disease since his son Sam was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as a baby. The human islet cells used for the new research were generated from human stem cells developed by Professor Melton. 

Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person's blood sugar (glucose) level to become too high. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system kills off the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. Daily injections of insulin are the primary treatment, but are only partially successful in regulating patients' metabolism. 

If a device could be implanted into diabetics that could prevent those insulin-producing cells from being attacked, it could be a huge leap forward in terms of research. The results could have an impact on health provision around the world.