Diabetes Research

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Diabetes directly affects over 240 million people worldwide and the number is raising every day, but the amount of people indirectly affected is much higher. Nurses, doctors, researchers, families and friends are all affected by the pain diabetics suffer. Luckily diabetes research and therapies have made leaps and bounds, especially in the last few years with much of the promising research progressing towards cell and molecular based therapies and diagnostic methods.

These molecular based therapies rely on discovering the minute details of the impaired cells which are not producing and/or recognizing insulin, a key which unlocks the cell to allow glucose to enter. Glucose being an essential source of energy for the entire body, but only when it is converted to ATP inside of the mitochondria located within almost every cell in the body. Many of these discoveries have taken place in a lab and are then implemented in a medicinal setting when successful. One method involve using pancreatic stem cells to stimulate and fix a dysfunctional pancreas into a naturally function pancreas, the source of insulin. Another method involves tissue engineering which attempts to create living tissue artificially and could eventually create artificial replacement organs grow in a lab. It may sound like science fiction, but this is already happening with much smaller animal organs.

Another field of diabetes research involves using molecular biology to determine causes and cures for diabetes, as well as a number of other prevalent and even not so common diseases. Cells are controlled by genes which can either express themselves or remain unused. The way the gene changes the cells actions is complex but when discovered it can lead to a wide variety of interesting approaches in curing and event preventing diabetes. Genes have already been discovered that contribute to how the cell produces and recognizes insulin and if those genes can be switched on through some sort of medication, implant, or therapy the patient may potentially be cured.

Sometimes the problem is cured by simply optimizing the functions of the existing cells. There is a lively interconnected web of molecules that function harmoniously to allow the body to function normally. One misstep can throw the whole dance out of whack quickly turning this theatre into a train wreck. One thing diabetes research has discovered and wholly promotes is eating a balanced diet and getting enough exercise. Often the simplest changes can provide the most profound results.

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