Researchers at the Israel Institute of Technology, Technion, have developed a new method for treating type 2 diabetes. Instead of medicating patients, researchers have found a way to use patients' own cells.
The researchers have managed to do so by extracting some muscle cells from the patient. These cells are then altered to consume sugar much faster than usual. When the cells are implanted back into the patient, the cells absorb much more sugar than before. In addition, they send signals to other muscle cells that also begin to absorb sugar at a higher rate.
"By taking cells from the patient, we eliminate the risk that the body would reject the cells. The cells can easily be returned to the body and then begin to signal other cells", says Shulamit Levenberg, professor at Technion and one of the researchers behind the method, in a press release.
When the researchers tested the method on mice with type 2 diabetes, the mice's blood sugar levels dropped to normal levels. The mice also stored less fat in the liver, otherwise a common problem for those with type 2 diabetes.
The researchers will now proceed with more tests and also see if the method can be used to treat other diseases.
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