Diabetes Cure?

From: Mark Walker (mdwalker@quickclic.net)
Date: Wed Dec 19 2001 - 15:35:07 MST

On the back page of the last section of my local paper there is an article
on a potentially revolutionary cure for diabetes. I have been following this
research for sometime and am constantly surprised it has not received more
media attention. Dr. Vinik et al. discovered a protein, Ilotropin that
regenerates the insulin secreting beta cells in the pancreas. They then went
on to discover a gene responsible for the production of this protein: InGap
(Islet Neogenesis Associated Protein). The current human trial involves 62
people injecting Ilotropin. In type 1 diabetes the insulin secreting islets
are destroyed by an autoimmune reaction whereas in type 2 diabetes often
many islets are destroyed by being over-worked as they attempt to overcome
insulin resistance. What's interesting is that a simple protein therapy is
able (at least in animal studies thus far) regenerate such specific cells.
It makes one wonder whether the there might be a liver neogenesis associated
protein or a neuron neogenesis associated protein. At least as far a
treating diabetes, this procedure looks much more straightforward than say
stem cell engineering.

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