Scientists think they may have moved closer to a cure for the type of diabetes that develops in childhood and typically leads to a lifetime of bothersome insulin injections.
The Guardian reports:
Researchers in California report that they have reversed the equivalent of type 1 diabetes in mice through transplants of stem cells. Their experiments have replaced cells in the pancreas damaged by the disease that are unable to make insulin.
Without insulin, the body has difficulty absorbing sugars such as glucose from the blood. The disease usually first shows in childhood or early adulthood and used to be a killer, but glucose levels can now be monitored and regulated with insulin injections.
Scientists have long wanted to try to replace the damaged ß-cells that normally produce insulin. This has been one of the prime targets of stem cell experiments. But until now, it has proved difficult, partly because mature ß-cells do not readily regenerate.