Breakthrough in diabetes research

Tue, 21 Jul 2009
According to diabetes news today, a genetic discovery could pave the way to finding a cure for type 1 diabetes . One particular gene that directs cells towards the pancreas was the focus of the research.

The Sox17 gene was analysed by the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, according to a hospital news release.

James Wells, an associate professor of paediatrics, reportedly commented: "In normal embryonic development, when you have an undecided cell, if Sox17 goes one way, the cell becomes part of the biliary system. If it goes the other way, the cell becomes part of the pancreas."

He continued: "With this study showing that turning one gene on or off in a mouse embryo instructs a cell to become pancreatic or biliary, now we'll see if that same gene, Sox17, can be used to direct an embryonic stem cell to become a biliary cell instead of a pancreatic cell. This might be used one day to replace a diseased pancreas or bile duct in people."
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