Bonner-Weir and other scientists have argued that either the beta cells in the pancreas continue to make copies of themselves, or that the pancreatic ducts, through a process called budding or neurogenesis, continue producing new cells. Read more
I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was 12, so, by that calculation, by the time I was 14, I felt 29. That means, right now, if I’m 30 in regular years, I’m 149 in diabetes years (and I’m 210 in dog years, in case you were wondering). What an accomplishment! You might be wondering if I really feel like I’m 149.
We need to stop complaining about how many times mice have been cured of diabetes. That is part of science, and part of learning about each separate part of the complex puzzle that makes up diabetes. We should embrace the researchers who are interested in solving our problem. Read more
I decided to take matters into my own hands and take advantage of the misguided system. I prepared myself to visit the ER with a blood glucose level under 50 mg/dL. In other words, I planned an insulin overdose. Read more
Dr. Ferber wants to take a patient’s own liver cells, turn them into beta cells in the lab, and then put them back in the patient just like an islet cell transplant. Because the starting cells are the patient’s own cells, important protein markers on the cells would “match” what the patient’s immune system expects, and the cells would in theory not induce an immune reaction like an organ transplant would. Read more
When our six-year-old daughter, Bisi, was hospitalized last summer after being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, part of the torrent of information we learned is that some patients have a diabetes honeymoon period, where the pancreas starts working again—though not perfectly—after diagnosis. Read more
Dr. Harrison and his team identified that some T cells express a molecule on their surfaces, CD52, that is capable of suppressing other T cells. Understanding the ways in which the immune system normally controls and suppresses T cells is crucial to our understanding what goes wrong in autoimmune diseases. Read more
The biomaterial holding the islet cells—which is completely synthetic, is 96 percent water, and which Garcia described as having the consistency of diluted Jello-O—and that was infused into the mice, however, addresses several of these problems. Read more
Dr. Doug Melton’s group at Harvard, which has made many advances in our understanding of stem cell and beta cell biology over the years, has identified a new hormone, which they called betatrophin, that, when produced by the liver, induces beta cell growth in the islets of the pancreas.
The staff wanted to follow protocol. They wanted to put sugar in the drip. And they were urging me to disconnect my pump and let the nurses take over. I thought, Hell no. I just changed my site! I adamantly said “No, thank you.” This was before the epidural, so there may have been some grimacing. Read more