August 8, 2009 |
A race is on to find a way to cure Type 1 diabetes by regenerating the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas that are lost in the disease. Without them, the body is unable to metabolize sugar, forcing patients to compensate by injecting themselves with insulin several times a day. One popular strategy has been to try to get embryonic stem cells or induced pluripotent stem cells -- which can theoretically become any type of human cell -- to...
November 7, 2011 |
Ever since scientists started talking about the medical potential of embryonic stem cells, curing Type 1 diabetes has been one of the dearest dreams. When researchers announced in 1998 that they had derived stem cells from human embryos, their landmark report flagged juvenile-onset diabetes as a disease that might be treated by stem cell transplants. In the run-up to the 2004 vote on California's Proposition 71, diabetes was repeatedly mentioned as a target by scientists campaigning to form a state-backed stem cell agency.
September 22, 2010
The basics In the simplest terms, diabetes means having too much glucose in your blood. Glucose is a type of sugar and a source of energy for the body. But if insulin, glucose’s “traffic cop,” isn’t doing its job, glucose accumulates in the bloodstream and all sorts of health problems can occur. Normally, most of the food a person eats gets converted into glucose, the body’s energy of choice. The circulatory system shuttles the glucose around so that hungry cells in the muscles, liver and elsewhere can snatch it out of the blood as it passes by. The liver cells are the hungriest for that glucose, because the liver is the body’s between-meal glucose storage facility.
December 30, 2010 |
Men with Type 1 diabetes may eventually have a way to provide tissues for their own beta-cell transplants, reseachers have found. Stem cells that normally grow into sperm can be prodded to change into insulin-producing beta-cells instead, researchers from the Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington reported at the recent Philadelphia meeting of the American Society of Cell Biology. If the technology can be scaled up and improved, it could eliminate many of the problems now associated with the use of stem cell technology and pancreas transplants.
November 1, 2010 |
Every night, Edward Damiano wakes three to four times to monitor his 11-year-old son's blood sugar levels. Damiano administers insulin remotely through a pump when his son's blood sugar reading is high or gives him juice through a straw when his blood sugar falls. His son, David, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 11 months old, sleeps peacefully through it all ? and that's exactly what worries Damiano. "You can check his blood sugar all night long and he won't wake up," Damiano says.
May 30, 2011 |
A pouch full of brand-new cells may one day reduce the need for people with Type 1 diabetes to take daily insulin shots. ViaCyte Inc. of San Diego has already used its technique to cure diabetes in hundreds of mice, says Eugene Brandon, one of the company's directors. ViaCyte hopes to begin human trials of its implants, which are made from embryonic stem cells, by 2013, aided by $26 million in grants and loans from the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, the state's stem cell funding agency.