Hundreds of thousands of people suffer from hereditary diabetes, a condition that destroys cells in the pancreas and leaves the body unable to regulate blood sugar levels.
Sufferers are forced to inject themselves with insulin everyday and adopt special diets to cope with the irreversible condition.
But now scientists claim a cure could be developed after cells in the liver were converted to insulin producers in research on mice.
They believe the process, described in the journal Developmental Cell, could one day lead to a permanent one-off cure for the disease.
Stem cell and regenerative medicine expert Dr. Malgorzata Borowiak has been named Baylor College of Medicine‘s fifth McNair Scholar. She will focus on diabetes.
Using stem cell technology, Borowiak’s research focuses on understanding the mechanisms of type 1 diabetes to identify new, cellular treatments for the disease.
The McNair Scholar program at BCM, supported by the Robert and Janice McNair Foundation and managed by the McNair Medical Institute, identifies outstanding scientists and physician scientists in biomedical research in four areas – breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, juvenile diabetes and neuroscience.
Borowiak, who started at BCM in January, serves as an assistant professor of
Never mind facial masks and exfoliating scrubs, skin takes care of itself. Stem cells located within the skin actively generate differentiating cells that can ultimately form either the body surface or the hairs that emanate from it. In addition, these stem cells are able to replenish themselves, continually rejuvenating skin and hair. Now, researchers at Rockefeller University have identified two proteins that enable these skin stem cells to undertake this continuous process of self-renewal.
The work, published in Nature Genetics, brings new details to the understanding of how stem cells maintain — and lose — their status as stem cells
Study May be Key to Unlocking a Cure
An article published in the Summer 2009 edition of Multiple Sclerosis Quarterly Report, a joint publication of United Spinal Association (www.UnitedSpinal.org) and the North American Research Committee on Multiple Sclerosis (NARCOMS), highlights the positive initial results of patients who have improving neurologic function after receiving a stem cell transplant, despite no longer taking any MS medications.
The results are reported in a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-sponsored study called HALT-MS to confirm whether high-dose immunosuppression followed by autologous stem cell transplantation will prevent MS attacks in patients who are not responding to available
Hepatitis C, an infectious disease that can cause inflammation and organ failure, has different effects on different people. But no one is sure why some people are very susceptible to the infection, while others are resistant.
Scientists believe that if they could study liver cells from different people in the lab, they could determine how genetic differences produce these varying responses. However, liver cells are difficult to obtain and notoriously difficult to grow in a lab dish because they tend to lose their normal structure and function when removed from the body.
Now, researchers from MIT, Rockefeller University and the Medical