Scientists have converted human gut cells into insulin producers by turning off one gene in an experiment that suggests a new way forward in treating diabetes. [s]Business Day[/s] reports that using a miniature model of the human intestine, only a few millimetres in size and made from stem cells, the scientists at [b]Columbia University’s Naomi Berrie Diabetes Research Centre[/b] deactivated a gene in the cells tied to metabolic regulation called FOXO1. Once disabled, the cells began producing insulin. The method raises the possibility of replacing insulin-making pancreatic beta cells lost in diabetics by using a drug to retrain patients’ existing cells..
[link url=http://www.bdlive.co.za/life/health/2014/07/01/fighting-diabetes-may-be-a-matter-of-guts]Full Business Day report[/link]
[link url=http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2014/140630/ncomms5242/full/ncomms5242.html]Nature Communications abstract[/link]