This is quite exciting research. Perhaps this will lead to better glucometers and insuling pumps.
Technology Review: Detecting Cell Loss in Diabetes
A novel molecular tracer could help doctors track the loss of insulin-producing cells in diabetes. Such a tool would allow both doctors and drug developers to better assess the effectiveness of new treatments. It could also shed light on the disease by allowing scientists to correlate loss of insulin-producing cells with diabetes symptoms for the first time.
"If we could see cell loss early, perhaps we could get patients started on therapy before there is irreversible damage," says Dan Skovronsky, founder and CEO of Philadelphia-based Avid Radiopharmaceuticals, the company that is developing the marker.
Diabetes News from dLife.com: Adult Stem Cells from Human Cord Umbilical Cord Blood Successfully Engineered to Make Insulin
In a fundamental discovery that someday may help cure type 1 diabetes by allowing people to grow their own insulin-producing cells for a damaged or defective pancreas, medical researchers here have reported that they have engineered adult stem cells derived from human umbilical cord blood to produce insulin.
New research out of Brazil (also here and here ) has indicated that it might be possible to cure diabetes. In a experiement that involved 15 people under the age of 30 the research were able to use stem cells harvested from the bone marrow to create a treatment that was injected back into the patients. Of the 15, 14 were able to give up insulin completely.
While this is great news it must be tempered with caution. The research used a very small sample size and the researchers are not sure they understand the mechanisms involved. They suspect that the body is stimulated to produce new white bloods cells that either prevent further attacks on the pancreas or simply replace the existing errant ones.