The body has learned to self-treat diabetes, but there is one problem
People with diabetes are forced to follow a strict diet and regular injections of insulin, reduces the amount of glucose in the blood. Researchers from the University of Washington have found an easier way to control and long-term glucose - they made the stem cells to turn into beta cells that produce insulin on their own, naturally. It sounds promising, because people will be able to at least temporarily forget about the need for injections or even cure, but new technology can cause other problems.
Scientists have known method of converting skin cells into so-called induced pluripotent stem IPS cells, which can take the form of any other cell in the body. Researchers have been able to turn them into beta cells, but they were working as scientists put it, like fire hydrants - either produces too much insulin, or not do it at all.
Study author Jeffrey Millman announced that they finally managed to find a recipe that produces cells with optimal production of insulin. The effectiveness of new cells has been tested on diabetic mice - they can not produce insulin on their own, but the injected cells were able to provide them with such a quantity of a substance that is much improved their condition. Most importantly - the production went on for several months in a row, so that the mice did not require injections. It was also observed that by the beta cells in the body from diabetes be more active than similar cells in healthy people. It would seem that such an urgent need to apply the technology to the people and make their lives easier, but it's too dangerous. The fact that the introduction of new cells is necessary to weaken the body's immune system so that it is not rejected them - it's too dangerous idea in relation to people. But scientists already know how to solve this problem:
First, the cells can be enclosed in a kind of gel - with pores small enough to prevent the infiltration of immune cells, but large enough to let insulin out. Another idea is to use the gene editing tools to modify the genes of beta cells so that they can "hide" from the immune system post-implantation.
Will these two effective solution to the problem - time will tell. Fortunately, the development of tools for diabetes and other involved groups of scientists. For example, in September last year, they found that the disease can be cured simply by locking one protein.
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