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26 Feb, 2020 13:55

Researchers claim diabetes breakthrough after curing mice using stem cells

Researchers claim diabetes breakthrough after curing mice using stem cells

A team of scientists at an American medical school have managed to cure diabetes in mice for up to nine months, after injecting the rodents with insulin-producing cells created from human stem cells.

The exciting results, revealed by a team at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, could be an important milestone in treating diabetes in humans.

In their study, the scientists were able morph human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) into pancreatic beta cells that make insulin – which were then transplanted into mice suffering from "severe diabetes" at levels which could even be fatal for a person.

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"When we gave the mice the insulin-secreting cells, within two weeks their blood glucose levels had returned to normal and stayed that way for many months," one of the researchers, Jeffrey R. Millman, said.

Although the results are extremely promising, the method will require more rigorous testing, and is likely a long way off being used on humans. The team said it plans to continue testing the insulin-producing cells in larger animals, with the final goal of human clinical trials down the road.

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