Stem Cells Offer Hope of Finding Cure for Diabetes ; HOME
Connor, Steve, The Independent (London, England)
Scientists have come a step closer to a cure for diabetes with a study showing that it is possible to create the insulin-producing tissue of the pancreas from human embryonic stem cells.
Tests have shown that the stem cells can be turned into fully mature pancreatic cells that are capable of producing the vital insulin hormone necessary to control blood sugar levels.
Stem cells from early human embryos promise to revolutionise medicine because of their ability to develop into any of the many specialised cells of the body. The aim of the research is to be able to culture embryonic stem cells so that they can be grown into the desired tissue for repairing damaged organs such as the heart, brain or pancreas.
The latest effort, detailed in the journal Nature Biotechnology, comes from a stem-cell engineering company called Novocell, based in California.
Novocell scientists have developed a method of converting human embryonic stem cells to the endoderm tissue of the pancreas, the part of the endocrine organ which is necessary for the formation of insulin-producing cells . …