Friday, November 12, 2004

promising diabetes research

I just have to share with all of you:

A medical researcher at Harvard, Denise Faustman, has
cured diabetes in mice! She was actually just searching
for a way to keep transplants from being rejected. She
used a well established and natural method to destroy the
T-cells (the immune cells) responsible for destroying the
islet (insulin producing) cells. Then she retrained the
diabetic mouses system not to reattack its own tissue by
injecting tissue from the spleen of a healthy mouse. She
then expected to perform islet cell transplants on these
mice to see if it would work, but then found that it was
unneccessary because the islet cells had rejenerated!!!!!
Isn't that amazing? I often thought that the islet cells
should be able to rejenerate and if the immune system
could just be persuaded not to attack then all would be
well. Aparently, most medical researchers didn't think
they could. I wonder why, because it is common
knowledge that the body rejenerates all cells except brain
cells every 7 years. Why shouldn't the islet cells do it?

Do a search on google for ' "Denise Faustman" diabetes'
and you'll find tons of articles on her work and related
topics.

What makes my blood boil is that she had trouble finding
funding to persue testing on human subjects (with
diabetes)!!!! Pharmaceutical companies turned her down
- that's not surprising though, since they certainly have
little interest in millions of people suddenly having no use
for insulin and all the rest of it. But also the Juvenile
Diabetes Research Association turned her down!!!! They
are now in the process of trying to replicate her work,
which is working. I don't know what politics are involved
in that, but it is unfathomable to me and unconscionable!
Anyway, she got funding from Lee Iacocca (of Chrysler
fame), who wrote a check for $1 Million to start a fund
which should raise $11 million for the research. His wife
died of diabetes complications in 1983, so he is very
interested!

It makes me want to send Dr. Faustman a birthday card
or fly there and kiss and hug her! It's very exciting - and
so simple too. A two phase, out-patient procedure and
then let the body take care of itself. WOW. I hope it
pans out.


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