Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Reprogramming cells may offer hope for type 1 diabetics

Just today I saw a headline with some potentially wonderful news for type 1 diabetics: Scientists have learned how to reprogram adult cells.

In the study, scientists actually successfully reprogrammed pancreatic cells in mice, changing regular cells into insulin-producing cells. This is wonderful news for several reasons:

1) It circumvents the stem cell controversy, because it uses existing adult cells
2) It means the potential for a cure for type 1 diabetes that does not involve a transplant
3) It could also mean cures for other diseases

This is a recent discovery, so it's going to take a while before it goes anywhere, or before scientists even know whether it could really cure diabetics. The article estimates that it will be about 5 years before they can begin human testing.

In the meantime, though, I'm quite happy to remain as I am — type 1 diabetic and proud of it!