Thursday, February 14, 2013

Cure for Type 1 Diabetes Discovered

      Researchers from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona have discovered a treatment for diabetes type 1 that has completely cured the disease in dogs using a single session of gene therapy. On the UAB website, the researchers explain that "the dogs... no longer show symptoms of the disease. In some cases, monitoring continued for over four years, with no recurrence of symptoms."

     This is not the first treatment of this type in the works, and the applications are virtually endless. It is a type of gene therapy that "activates" dormant genes - in this case - the genes controlling the production of insulin.  Dr. Bosch, the head reasercher, is quoted on the UAB news website:

""this study is the first to demonstrate a long-term cure for diabetes in a large animal model using gene therapy.”

      In the future, we should expect treatments of this nature for a myriad of disease processes - not only in combatting illness, but in optimizing health in general (fat insulin receptor gene is a good example).  Researchers routinely use gene manipulation techniques for research purposes, for example, as a means to make cells bioluminescent, for the purpose of tracking their behavior. 

Congratulations to those who suffer from Diabetes Type 1; it seems a significant step forward has been made. 

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