Right now, on Grey’s Anatomy, one of the plot lines involves Type 1 diabetes and mice. Dr. Miranda Bailey is performing a trial, attempting to create a device with a molecule that can be placed in humans to cure diabetes. She is using mice as the trial guinea pigs. This sounds crazy! However, this same trial is being done in real life!
“Type 1 diabetes is characterized by the body’s inability to manufacture insulin because its own immune system is attacking it.”
Diabetes has doubled in our population in the last ten years. In fact, doctors have found themselves able to predict if someone has or will have Type 1 diabetes ninety percent of the time. The experiment that physicians are now doing on mice started two and a half years a go. Testing different molecules on mice, the doctors have tried to find which molecules will stop the production of Type 1 diabetes. The doctors look for particular structural pockets in the mouse’s body that are lining areas of proteins, and they then place the molecules in those particular pockets. It seems that doctors have tried this experiment on mice with hundreds of molecules in the past, but the one that works is glyphosphine. When the glyphosphine is entered into the mouse’s body, it “enhances insulin presentation”
and kills the chances of early signs of diabetes in mice becoming Type 1 diabetes. However, if the mouse already has Type 1 diabetes, the treatment is not as effective in getting rid of it, for it has already found a home in the body. In reality, this molecule called glyphosphine is only a preventative molecule, one that can save people who have had diabetes in their family history, or are just unlucky with symptoms of a future diagnosis. This trial has been published in the Journal of Immunology and gives hope to doctors working to fight Type 1 Diabetes. The clinical trial is to be performed on humans throughout the next five years.
I can’t believe that the diabetes population has DOUBLED over the last 10 years. But hopefully someone will be able to find a definite cure for Type 1 diabetes. Also hopefully scientist are also working on finding a cure for type 2 diabetes. In South Korea, a pediatric doctor, James Trosko, has found out that the drug metformin, used to treat type 2 diabetes, can now help prevent breast cancer. Here take a look at what he did to figure this out: