For more than two years, Stanford University geneticist Michael Snyder donated his living body to science. He and fellow researchers examined his DNA, RNA, proteins and metabolites, creating an incredibly detailed profile of his personal "omics." They watched in real time and at the molecular level as viruses attacked his cells, and they figured out, to their shock, that he was prone to developing type 2 diabetes.
A new real-time view of immune cells attacking the pancreas sheds light on how type 1 diabetes unfolds, as white blood cells seek out and destroy insulin-producing beta cells. Researchers believe it could help point the way to new intervention methods to halt the destruction before the onset of type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes.
Private companies and hospital researchers are increasingly making strides toward developing an artificial pancreas, supplanting insulin injections and pinpricks for patients with diabetes. Such a system would mimic the functions of a healthy pancreas, delivering insulin and monitoring blood sugar according to a computer’s careful calculations.
Patients who consumed only 600 calories a day for two months were able to reverse their Type 2 diabetes, according to a groundbreaking British study. The research, involving just 11 patients, suggests a very low-calorie diet can remove fat that clogs the pancreas, allowing normal insulin secretion to be restored, according to Newcastle University.
Seven of the 11 patients remained free of diabetes three months after the study, researchers said.
DETROIT — Within the next couple years, your car will notice if you have low blood sugar and tell you to have a snack; check local pollen counts and roll up your windows to prevent an allergy attack; and at lunch time, give you directions to the nearest healthy-eating establishment, pausing your iPod to broadcast the restaurant’s menu.
Using a suite of new apps Ford announced Wednesday, personalized medicine could soon be as simple as revving your engines. Now we just need someone to record some lines as KITT.
By Catherine PricePosted 03.16.2011 at 2:00 pm 7 Comments
One of the toughest things about Type 1 diabetes – a chronic, incurable autoimmune disease – is that once it begins to develop, there's no way to stop it. Slowly but surely, your immune system will kill off the cells in your pancreas that produce insulin, a crucial hormone that allows you to absorb the energy (in the form of glucose) from your food. The process can take years, but the end result is always the same: you'll be entirely dependent on injections of artificial insulin to stay alive. Even though it's now possible to predict with more than 75 percent accuracy whether someone will develop Type 1 within the next five years, there's nothing to do with that information but wait.
But a new trial, launched through the National Institutes of Health's Type 1 Diabetes Trial Net, may change that.