Learn The Facts About Diabetes Stem Cell Research

Advances in stem cell research diabetes have led to exciting breakthroughs in treating the disease in recent years. This research provides doctors with new techniques when treating the disease and provides hope for patients who have suffered through numerous complications. Funding for this type of research has also increased at the government level, making it much more viable moving forward.


Diabetes is quickly becoming an epidemic in the United States and around the developed world, as up to 200,000 people die from complications related to diabetes each year. An additional 16 million people in the United States alone suffer from diabetes, which is definitely a good reason to come up with a cure. Currently, all we can do is teach people to live with diabetes and give them options for minimizing the effect that it has on their lives.

The idea behind diabetes stem cell research is that researchers can develop cells that will renew themselves and develop into the cells needed to eliminate the disease from the body. While this has not yet happened, it is an exciting idea because it would allow the body to eventually cure the body on its own, rather than needing additional medicine. These cells would begin producing insulin on their own, which is what diabetes patients need to survive.

Government Policies

The government has always been on the fence about stem cell research diabetes, starting with the Bush administration. In 2001, he allowed for federal funding of the research, but for research on certain things. This prohibited the researching of new lines of stem cells at that time.

In 2009, President Obama made it possible for the federal government to fund additional stem cell research, while implementing ethical guidelines to govern these funds. He also increased the number of lines of which researchers could use, which is good news for diabetes patients. While certain individuals have attempted to stop this research from taking place, it is still legal, since the courts have not outlawed it.

Development for Diabetes

type 1 DiabetesWhen continuing with stem cell research diabetes, researchers want to come up with a system that allows the cells to multiply by reproducing themselves identically. These cells should also be able to regenerate themselves automatically, so that new transplants are not necessary in the future. By coming up with this type of transplant, diabetes patients would not have to worry about the disease having a negative impact on their lives.

Currently, however, researchers have not figured out if the therapy would only include beta cells, which produce insulin, or if other cells would become necessary to make this process happen. Pancreatic islet cells are also involved how the body handles insulin. Therefore, they might become necessary if the body produces extremely high amounts of glucose, in order to control the release of insulin into the body.

The beta cells, with which researchers are currently working, release insulin all at once or not at all, making it difficult to control the amount of glucose. This type of cell on its own would help the body produce insulin, but would not have any control over its release. In the end, researchers will have to come up with a method of controlling this release, much the way the body of a non-diabetic can do, in order for this stem cell research diabetes to have success.

The Future

In the end, researchers will have difficulty curing type 1 diabetes, since the body’s immune system is responsible for destroying these cells in the first place. Researchers must come up with a way to prevent the immune system from rejecting these cells in order to cure the disease. Only then can we label stem cell research diabetes as a success.



Related News In:

1. Type 1 diabetes breakthrough using stem cell research raises hope for cure

Experts at Harvard University use stem cells to create insulin-producing beta cells in large quantities, and say human transplantation trials could be under way within a few years…(read more)


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