Tuesday September 24, 2019

Cure of Diabetes may be just a few years away

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Feb. 11, 2016: This video produced by Voice of America and brought to you by NewsGram highlights 2 things:
1. Insulin Pumps currently are automated, ie, you have to keep monitoring glucose levels and then decide the insulin dose to be given via Insulin pumps. The scientists say, in next 5 years, automated insulin pumps would become a reality.
2. Ongoing experiments in mice give hope that even the cure of diabetes may not be far away.

Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Excess sugar, or glucose, in your blood is not good.  But a healthy body regulates it through insulin, produced in the organ called the pancreas. If the body fails to do that, either because of genetics, or an unhealthy lifestyle, diabetics have to adopt a grueling routine of constant monitoring of blood sugar and injecting insulin for the rest of their lives.

Both insulin monitors and delivery devices called insulin pumps, are available, but so far, creating an automatic injector that does not require monitoring has proved to be a difficult problem.

After working on it for almost 20 years, scientists at Harvard University say they may be close to solving it.

Frank Doyle of Harvard University says: “In essence, we use a patient model, a computational model, a mathematical model, to forecast into the future. So we get a sense of how past insulin affects future glucose, how the past trajectory of glucose is going to play out for the next hour or two.”

Scientists say automatic insulin pumps should be on the market within five years.

Finding a cure for diabetes would be even better and these mice may  hold the key.

In the type of diabetes caused by genetic disposition, the human immune system kills pancreas cells that produce insulin.  A jello-like substance engineered in the laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology shields those cells from the attack.

Daniel Anderson of Massachusetts Inst of Technology says: “We can take these human islets from stem cells and actually cure these diabetic mice for months. We have also shown that in primates we can put these little balls of new material in the abdominal space of primates and see that they don’t form scar tissue which is an important step towards thinking of using them in people.”

Scientists are optimistic that one way or another, or maybe with a combination of approaches, they will bring relief to diabetes sufferers within a few years. (GEORGE PUTIC, VOANEWS, WASHINGTON)

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10x Blacker Material Than Anything Reported By MIT Engineers

Engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have created a material that they claim is 10 times blacker than anything

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MIT, Engineers, Black material, Science
The dome at the MIT campus. Wikimedia Commons

Engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have created a material that they claim is 10 times blacker than anything that has previously been reported.

The material is made from vertically aligned carbon nanotubes, or CNTs — microscopic filaments of carbon that the team grew on a surface of chlorine-etched aluminum foil.

The foil captures more than 99.96 per cent of any incoming light, making it the blackest material on record, according to a study published in the journal ACS-Applied Materials and Interfaces.

MIT, Engineers, Black material, Science
Our material is 10 times blacker than anything that’s ever been reported. Pixabay

The material may be useful, for instance in optical blinders that reduce unwanted glare, to help space telescopes spot orbiting exoplanets, said Brian Wardle, Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the MIT.

ALSO READ: Electric Vehicle Maker Tesla Teases Model S with ‘Plaid Powertrain’

“There are optical and space science applications for very black materials, and of course, artists have been interested in black, going back well before the Renaissance.

“Our material is 10 times blacker than anything that’s ever been reported, but I think the blackest black is a constantly moving target. Someone will find a blacker material, and eventually we’ll understand all the underlying mechanisms, and will be able to properly engineer the ultimate blac,” he added. (IANS)