Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Beating Diabetes

Those of you who read my blog regularly know that my son has Type 1 Diabetes. There are two things related to Type 1 Diabetes I wanted to discuss today.

First, I was so amazed to watch this BBC report on what scientists have been able to do with liver cells. My mouth was literally hanging open in shock.

Liver cells 'could beat diabetes'
Diabetes insulin injection
Many people with diabetes must have regular insulin shots
Scientists have turned adult liver cells into insulin-producing cells able to treat diabetes when transplanted into mice.

It is hoped the work will one day allow the use of a diabetes patient's own liver cells to treat their condition.

At present there are limited supplies of donor cells for transplants, and patients run the risk of rejection.

The study, by Israel's Sheba Medical Center, is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.... {MORE}

This is all very exciting and I cannot wait to see what happens next in this regard.

Of course, many of you know that I am very much in favor of embryonic stem cell research as well. A researcher at UCSF in San Francisco recently said for me... "I've cured a lot of mice... I want to cure some kids." Let's keep ALL the avenues open.

Many people do not know that the current stem cell lines that Bush wants to keep open and is using as political quicksilver by saying "Oh, yes, I support it, don't you see, I only support the current stem cell lines!..." HAVE BEEN CONTAMINATED WITH MOUSE TISSUE. Check out this SF Chronicle story about the matter... Studies at UC San Diego and the Salk Institute found that "all human embryonic stem cell lines approved for use in federally funded research are contaminated with a foreign molecule from mice that may make them risky for use in medical therapies."

Bush surely knows this. It's just very convenient of him to pretend not to.

There's a big stem cell vote in the House today. I hear it's likely to pass. Washington Post story here... Support stem cell research, people.