Wow. Reading the original article from Nature Communications.....wow.
TL;DR - scientists have worked out which gene to switch on/off to make normal gut cells produce insulin.
So, a bit of info: insulin is usually produced from the pancreatic cells and it regluates the metabolism of carbohydrates (sugars) and fats.
diabetics, their immune system is attacking the
insulin making cells - they have
no internal insulin and rely on outside
sources. Type 2 diabetes comes about
from insulin resistance and therefore
a relative insulin
So, we've found the switch to make
cells turn into different cells and produce something that Type 1 diabetics
can't usually produce....
Firstly, this procedure has been
tested on human cells in a lab environment and it appears to work. Would this
work in a real body? For all we know there could be
processes that inhibit the gene we're looking at.
We've yet to see human trials,
but if it does it would be a lifechanging
If you were diabetic, would you want
your gut cells to
be changed into insulin producing cells? Of course, for
religious crowd may feel this is stepping on God's toes a bit - to
things do what they're not supposed to, but if it changes people's lives -
people who are otherwise dependant on out-sourced insulin (that often comes from
pigs, I might add) how could you deny them?
I'm sure there are
others, maybe non-religious
groups that would also have something to say
about changing code within
ourselves - what long term effects might there
be? Will it affect anything else?
Could it cause a knock-on effect in the
cells, causing disordered
We don't know. And that's one
things about humans, we often play with things we don't fully
This is a huge breakthrough - we're
making one type of
cell do the job of another type of cell. Could this work
elsewhere in the
body? How many diseases that come about from disordered
behaviour of cells
could be fixed?
This is an exciting
article - one that could really
Would you undergo the procedure if you had